Evil Dead

Evil Dead

Pure. Horror. Awesomeness.

Five young people take to a dilapidated cabin in the woods in order to help Mia (Jane Levy) kick her heroin habit. Her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), a friend who’s an RN (Jessica Lucas), and another friend, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and his girlfriend (Elizabeth Blackmore) all vow to look after her over the next few days and not allow her to leave. A few hours in, however, the five detect a foul odor in the cabin, which leads them to discover a trap door to a basement they never knew existed. There, they find a number of animal carcasses hung from the ceiling in ritualistic fashion… and a thick, tightly packaged book, wrapped shut with barbed wire.

Inquisitiveness gets the better of them, and when the book is unwrapped it’s revealed to be an ancient tome with a cover made of sewn human flesh, filled with strange writings, pictures of demonic rituals, and blood writ warnings not to read from its pages. Throwing caution to the wind, however, Eric reads aloud from the book and unwittingly releases an evil entity.

It’s then that all Hell breaks loose.

When I say all Hell breaks loose, I mean it, too. From the moment they read from the Necronomicon, all manner of injury and death awaits the five youth. There’s a seemingly endless barrage of possession, beatings, stabbings, amputations, and shootings… it’s a wide variety of pain and carnage that ensues. Demons hiss and heckle as the insanity unfolds. As the unaffected fight the possessed, there are shotguns, nailguns, broken glass, pliers, and chainsaws brought into play. The cabin becomes the scene of a close quarters struggle for life and death.

“Evil Dead” has plenty of Evil, and plenty of Death. Absolutely horrific things unfold onscreen. It’s borderline torture porn that these people endure, with an exquisite frosting of demonic possession. The victims struggle to understand what’s going on, then struggle not to get killed. All the while, there’s the looming threat that they could succumb to the demonic spell that’s fallen over the cabin. I watched it all with a wide-eyed glee.

The cast was adequate, I don’t particularly have any raves to hand out for the acting. In fact, my one mild disappointment of the film was Shiloh Fernandez’s David, who I felt was lackluster. The others are fine, however, and Jane Levy has a couple of memorable moments.

Director Fede Alvarez is the real star of the show, here. The camera is alive, tracking the victims almost as if it were stalking them itself. It rushes and zooms around at times, reminiscent of Raimi’s work in the first film. At others, he focuses tightly in on someone’s horrified face. But it always seems to be exactly where it needs to in order to maximize the horror of the situation. He includes numerous nods to the original in order to satisfy fans of the property, then proceeds to unleash an updated, superior film that feels like a celebration of what horror films can be.

“Evil Dead” will certainly delight all fans of horror. It’s gory, and gruesome; soaked in blood and filled with dismemberment, all in the best of ways. It’s a great remake and a great horror film. It’s the first film this year to make me say “That’s a top ten candidate”.

A+

Daniel Fogarty

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99 thoughts on “Evil Dead

  1. I’m glad to see that this is getting some high marks from people who are fans of the original (I’ve been reading Spikor’s reviews all week). So rare that there’s a good remake, so rare that there’s a good horror movie… so a good horror remake is a true rarity.

    Of course, the only part of the Evil Dead franchise I’ve seen is Army of Darkness, but I’ve penciled this in on the watchlist as well. And the original is slated to be one of the films in this year’s Halloween Haunters.

    • This one will probably be out for rental by then too, Im sure. The first two are great, but I imagine theyre going to really seem dated to the modern viewer. :(

      I thought this was both, btw. A great remake and a great horror movie. :D It saddens me to see so many people not on board with it.

    • I know you’re a big horror fan too Tyson, so I hope you come out of it clapping and high fiving too. I thought it was awesome. So did Ryan over at Rhino’s horror, and obviously he’s a big horror junkie too.

  2. A top ten candidate you say Fogs? High praise indeed. I’m liking the feedback I’ve been getting on this but you mention Torture Porn. I’m not so sure about that. I normally can’t abide those type of film. I’m still intrigued though.

    • I’m not sure if this is what Fogs means by the Torture Porn mention or not… but I had a similar thought while watching the movie.

      It’s “borderline” because there’s so much violence, and you’re excited to see all the ways these characters are going to get put through the ringer.

      But it’s not quite over the line, because that excitement comes from a much better place, than say the Hostel or Saw sequels. The movie has an old school horror feel, where you’re excited to see what the big bad will do to these kids again.

      • Yeah, I’ll still be checking it out but I’m hoping it doesn’t go down the Hostel or Saw route. Not keen on that type of stuff. I’m not adverse to violence but I’ve never enjoyed those films. I do enjoy a good horror though and I’m a big fan of the original.

    • It’s definitely NOT torture porn. That’s a distinctly different horror sub genre. This is not about torture, and it also has a plot, and characters above and beyond the “nothing notable aside from torture” aspect of those movies.

      However the beatings and injuries and damage that these people take over the course of the movie is enough to fill a torture porn flick, for sure. LOL :evil:

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  4. I also really dug it but not quite as much as you. The gore, creativity, and disgusting visuals were fantastic. The ending was so good it made any of the earlier negatives pretty much fly out of my mind. Only thing that keeps me from your level of enthusiasm is the script. Maybe it was the intrigue of Diablo Cody’s involvement (she did only do a script revision, but still). I expected a few more clever lines than what we got which was a lot of very generic horror movie dialogue. The acting also was pretty unremarkable (I did like Levy though). I’m more forgiving on that on though.

    • LOL. Curse of Diablo Cody! :D You know, I had even forgotten that she was involved here. There definitely wasn’t anything remarkable about the dialogue… no doubt. I even think some of the acting was lame. That brother charater? He was pretty dull, let’s say that.

      Like you said though, there was a lot here that cause me to look right past the negatives. I loved the end too. Usually I hate that “Nope! It’s not over YET!” BS, but the final ending bit was so insane… I loved it! :D

      • The ending was so necessary too because I was pretty disappointed up to that point by the lack of an Ash-like character. I also somehow avoided any spoilers for that which helped the surprise factor.

  5. Nice review Dan, I agree with your assessment of the flick. So much so that I can’t think of anything to add.

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  7. Awesome review! Whoa! A+! I’m seeing more and more positive reviews. Thats awesome! I guess what turns them on horror-wise is diff. I’m reading a lot about it being gory. Haha! The boyfriend is totally hyped since he’s a huge Evil Dead fan. I really liked the trailer (with no sound). Probably I’ll end up checking it out if the boyfriend deems it alright for me. So I don’t spend 3 weeks not sleeping :P

    • I imagine that this might cause some sleepnessness Kim 8O It’s gory as hell and pretty scary if you ask me. :D

      If he’s an Evil Dead fan, things could go either way, I think. I’m a fan of the original, but Im not exactly attached to it so I didnt mind the shift in tone, etc. But I definitely definitely enjoyed the Hell out of it. This was an excellent horror movie! :D

  8. YAAAAAY, I love that you loved this, Fogs!! It’s definitely my favourite of the year so far. It’s so awesome. So bloody. AHH! Pretty scary, too! Great review, buddy. I can’t wait to watch this again and add this to Evil Dead marathons… Even though I still have to purchase and watch Army of Darkness.

    • I think a LOT of that has to do with the fact that it’s a remake, Nick. I’ll bet you’ve seen the original. I know I have… so… you know what’s going to happen. To a large degree at least.

      I’d concede its not the scariest movie ever, but it was horrifying. There’s a subtle distinction there, but I was definitely highly entertained by the proceedings. :D

  9. Maybe I need to see it again (which I’d happily do), because I thought it was alright. Some cool stuff going on, but it somehow wasn’t as crazy as I had expected it to be. I’ll give it another shot soon-ish.

    • Aw. That’s disappointing. :(

      Maybe it was too hyped up or something. I do know that opinions are all over the place on it. There are people raving, people hating, and plenty in the middle saying it was “ok”. I loved it, though, I thought it was really sick. :D

  10. I actually was not as impressed with this film as I thought I would be. Cinematography was great but the story and characters I just could not get into. It just seemed to me like it was relying too much on gore, not enough on scares. Good review, though! It’s always nice to hear the other side.

    • Well, sorry to hear that Emily. I wasn’t scared by it per se, but then again, I’m familiar with the story and I knew what would happen. I was pretty horrified at times though.

      Still I enjoyed myself immensely, I had a great time at the theatres. So that’s a big part of what counts. Scary or not, it entertained the hell out of me :D

      Thanks for stopping by Emily!

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