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”.


Daniel Fogarty


99 thoughts on “Evil Dead

  1. Fantastic. It was intense, scary, bloody and I loved it. However, there is a certain low budget charm to the original, so I like that just a tad better. Now for those that usually leave before the end credits, there is a little bit more film afterwards. It got applause and laughs from the audience I was with. Since the movie was so intense, this was needed to calm people down. So please stay until the very end.

      • Oh, yeah!! There have been some good horror films (at least in my opinion) this year but this is the best so far. I’ll e-mail what happens after the end credits.

  2. I enjoyed this. Some nice homages and fun updates to the original, with a real star turn by Jane Levy as Mia. That said, I can’t give it an ‘A+’ as you. It’s a very solid remake that I’d still recommend. But I saw ‘The Evil Dead’ in ’81 (TMT, if you’re interested). First hand (that’s a pun). In one of the handful of theaters in the nation willing to run it, and this wasn’t exactly close to the Sam Raimi classic that put him on the map. Don’t get me wrong, Fede Alvarez’s film certainly its moments. But, I knew they were coming. Raimi’s still leaves an impression ;-). Fine review, Fogs.

  3. I wasn’t very impressed with the 1st trailer, the 2nd had me a bit interested, but this review has me giddy with anticipation. Thanks!

  4. Really enjoyed this one. Sounds like you did even more. Glad to hear it.

    It had a few problems for me, mostly the timing of the jumps. They were off, either firing too soon, or too late to get me to actually jump. Two solid flinches though, and that’s equal to a jump.

    • I dont know. I dont pay much attention to “jumps”. They’re too easy to achieve when you’re in control of the audio and the video, plus, they dont equate to actually being scary, they’re just startles.

      Not to say I was scared by this, (although knowing what would happen probably didnt help) but I was really able to get into what was going on onscreen.

      • Even though they’re a major component of the formula for me, I agree with what you’re saying. Truly scary movies don’t need jumps… they get in your head, bite little pieces of your brain and dance around. But if I was only going to get excited about truly scary movies, I would have abandoned the horror genre decades ago. I can only think of one, The Exorcist.

        The reason I hold this one accountable highly for jumps is because there is a large number of attempts. And they all failed to get me, except for 2 that almost got me. That’s a bad ratio, and it brings me out of getting into what’s going on onscreen for a few moments at a time after a while.

  5. It was so nice to not be disappointed in a film remake. So now what do you think of my idea for an expanded top ten remake list? I’m sure you will see it again and get a chance to enjoy the 3 seconds of extra awesome sauce at the end. I’d go along with most of what you’ve said here. Happy? He’ll yah.

    • Hahaha. Yeah, I DO want to see this one again, big time. I dont go to the movies twice for one flick anymore, but this one is giving me the call…

      Even if I have to wait to find out what that capper is, I’ll check it out one day.

      Maybe eventually I’ll update that remake list. When I do? This will be a STRONG candidate! 😀

  6. Great review, I personally loved the original movies and still regard this as on an equal playing field with them. Hoping that it holds up at the box office this weekend

    • Ha! I was just over on your site!

      Yeah, man, so awesome to find someone else raving about this one. You’re right, it doesn’t get much better than this… I’m even wondering if it has a chance to place on my top ten horror films (albeit lowly, probably).

  7. Tried desperately to find a sub for me for the 3 guys review. However, my brother would not relent he said it was payback for having to review a bunch of animated kids films.

  8. It has its gore and blood that continues to shock the audience, but it really isn’t anything special that’s worth writing home about. Good review brotha.

    • Yeah, saw your review Dan… I think we’re a million miles apart on this one. How often do we get horror movies this good? To me that does make it special and it IS worth writing home about…

      Sorry you didnt connect with this one. 😦

      • No. That movie was a comedy. I refuse to call it a horror movie. Plus it devolves at the end into its heavy handed commentary on hollywood and horror…

        I liked that flick, but I didnt get carried away about it like a lot of people did. Plus, its flat out not a horror movie. It’s Horror/Comedy and there’s a huge difference. 😦

      • Maybe the remake plays it straight, which would be a shame, but Evil Dead (1981) is considered by many to be the greatest horror comedy of all time.

  9. not the greatest gore horror fan, my memories of the original are diminished having only seen it a couple of times a long time ago. So, i can go into this with the same wide eyed glee and not be influenced or compare. with this being Evil Dead, i cant ignore it and will be watching this for sure.

  10. I have read many reviews on this movie and I think you have had the most positive response so far! This movie looks like it would be fun to watch with a live audience. Great review!

    • Good, that’s fine. I’m happy to be one of this movie’s biggest fans, no doubt.

      It WAS a good movie to see in the theatre. The reactions were everything you’d hope for. Moans and groans… Uncomfortable laughter, it was great 😀

  11. Nice review Fogs. Glad you enjoyed it. It was a pure gore fest but lacked the terror for me.
    I was hoping for something that was going to make me shit my pants like the billing on the movie poster claimed.

    Was it a good film? YES, it was very good. Probably the best remake of a horror film in. a long while. But I was expecting more. The original will always be my my favorite.

    It also didn’t help that I was at the 10:00 screener filled with teenage kids that laughed through the entire film. Kinda ruined it for me.

    • I dont know how many movies CAN make me that scared. Its really not often that I get genuinely freaked out by a movie anymore. But I was really into this from the minute they found the book.

      Sorry to hear your audience put a damper on things for you, that sucks when that happens 😦 I dont know what more you could have expected though, this was a pretty awesome go at it!

      • I think I expected the most terrifying film I ever saw like the poster said.

        Yeah the audience sucked, I might see it again just to see if it helps. I so wanted to LOVE this film Fogs believe me. I’m passionate about the original and I wanted to be blown away with the remake.

        I’ve been frustrated really ever since I saw it, then seeing how much you and Ryan loved it I feel like maybe I was too swayed by the assholes in the audience laughing the entire time. It really pissed me off.

      • Yeah, that sucks. That can really ruin an experience. On the flip side, when you get a great crowd that’s really into it it can influence you positively, too. I might have a little of that going on myself.

      • It sucks cause I wanted to love it so much!
        The original is one of my favorite films of all time and I feel like I’m being anti-Evil Dead. It’s frustrating.

    • Good, glad to hear you can go in with an open mind.

      I guess there’s always going to be a certain contingent that there’s just no pleasing… I liked the original, too, but this was just awesome. They did it right. 😯

  12. Pingback: Evil Dead Review: They Did It! | Rorschach Reviews

  13. Fog, you mean Jane “Levy” had a few nice moments; you wrote Jane “Lynch”. Was this Evil Dead meets Glee? Actually that’s a brilliant idea! I’d love to take some of the cast from Glee and put them in that cabin!! LOL.

  14. “Pure. Horror. Awesomeness.” Ahah, well I’m glad this lives up to your expectations, Fogs! I actually did see the first one which was quite funny, but really, it’s not my cup of tea. Suffice to say I’ll be skipping this 😀

    • Yes I would.

      I love the original, but a big part of that is its “low budget charm”. This one trades that in for straight out horror, gore, and craziness. I approve. I found this to be an excellent, excellent, sick sick sick horror movie 😀

  15. I have a lot of respect for the first one and I’m glad to see they got this new version right. It makes me glad that this new guy does pay homage to Sam Raimi and his camera techniques from the original one

    • TONS of nods to the original, completely respectful, plus from what I hear, the post credits snippet will make fans of the first two lose their minds. 😀

      I would definitely say they got it right, though unfortunately opinion seems to be divided. I’ve ran across a number of disappointing, middling reviews 😦

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