The remake of Evil Dead has finally arrived to terrorize the masses! But is it too gruesome for general audiences? John Dotson checks in with his full review!
Directed by: Fede Alvarez Written by: Fede Alvarez
Based on 1981 screenplay by Sam Raimi
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language Runtime: 91 Mins.
Starring: Jane Levy- Mia Shiloh Fernandez- David Lou Taylor Pucci- Eric Jessica Lucas- Olivia Elizabeth Blackmore- Natalie
It is an honor and a privilege to give the readers at 411Mania a review of this amazing beast of a horror movie. I want to advise that I may reveal minor spoilers, but nothing that will ruin your experience. Chances are if you come to sites such as this, you're already familiar with the original film and kind of have an idea of what to expect. I'm also betting that most readers here have replayed that disgustingly awesome red-band trailer several times. Well, I'm here to say the trailer is definitely not misleading the viewer on the amount of blood gushing moments. In fact, the red band trailer is actually tame in comparison to the actual film experience. Let me put it this way, Fede Alvarez is to over-the-top gore, as Michael Bay is to explosions. Fear not though, for this version of Evil Dead is bloody glorious.
The film involves Mia, David, Eric, Olivia, and Natalie who have ventured off to a remote cabin in the woods. Just like the original, the group discovers the trap door in the floor, leading them to "the book of the dead." What follows is that eventual frustrating moment where some asshole has to read the passage from the book- even if it says do not read this- which then unlocks the infamous deadites to ruin the party.
Now, the difference between old and new Evil Dead are much grander. The old film is mainly about a group just looking to get away from things for the fun of it. I found greater fascination for the cabin visit in this movie. This time it's to help one of the members become clean from cocaine. The addition of a major character experiencing withdrawals brought extra depth to the paranoia. After the prayer from the book is read, every moment has a nasty tension and all you want is that one fix to ease the pressure. Fortunately, we never get a relief. Alvarez's strong direction keeps the insanity rolling every second.
Jane Levy, who plays Mia in the film, is one of the Evil Dead's greatest casting choices. Most of the horror execution within the movie depends on her, and she is more than willing to rise to the challenge. Possibly every scene she’s given is a show stealer. Then again, this could also be due to the aggressive nature of the script.
There is one thing I want to make clear to the readers, because it's been a topic of controversy since the announcement of the remake. This is actually NOT a remake. Yes, there are a ton of similarities to the original film BUT this would actually constitute a reboot. Raimi and Alvarez took many aspects which made the first one so beloved and then tried something different. Almost in the same vein as last year's 21 Jump Street, only replace extreme comedy with excessive amounts of blood and gore. If you're still not convinced this is a reboot, then stay after the credits. Trust me.
The tone in this film is completely nasty. The editing adds a layer of nerve-wracking weight which will have you on edge moment to moment. You know that cringe feeling when you think about getting a papercut, or nails on a chalkboard? That's what this entire movie feels like. It's not that it's a scary movie, just a painfully violent one. The deadites inflict violence in ways which would make even Jigsaw leave the party. I probably flinched over a dozen times during the last third of the film. Also, I know the film-makers were trying to accomplish a serious take for the movie, but some aspects were so extremely violent that I found myself laughing. Whether the humor of it was intentional is beyond me. Who knows? Maybe I'm just a sick bastard.
All that being said, Evil Dead is a worthy rehash or reboot of the cult series. There are so many easter eggs hidden with the film to please old fans while delivering a new bloodsoaked entry into the reborn legacy. Some elements may be too over-the-top for general audiences, but the rest of us will be left smiling by the guts and glory. Alvarez and Raimi tuned up a classic vehicle to show the horror masses why this genre used to be so much fun.