EVIL DEAD (2013)
Director: Fede Alvarez
Writer: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez,
Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore, and Jessica Lucas
Released: April 2013
Somewhere out there, the manufacturers and suppliers for blood squibs are each dancing in a rainfall of hundred dollar bills. They must have sold out or run out of stock because EVIL DEAD (2013) probably used up all of the blood packs in Hollywood. I just recently saw this movie in the theatre and I have to say…this was a gory, violent, visceral, blood showering modernized cabin in the woods vs book of the dead frightfest. From a desensitized fan of horror fare, this one had a few cringe – cower – jump moments. Oh and did I mention how f@*king bloody it was?
If you are a huge fan of Sam Raimi’s original 1981 classic, as I am, you’ll find that this film has a completely different tone. Some fans of the original would say that they don’t like this remake (as a few of my co-workers expressed when we discussed this movie). But this movie is different enough from the original that I think that both can be appreciated for their own merits.
The original Sam Raimi movie from 1981 was one of the first films to employ the storybeats of:
*Young adults retreat to a remote and spooky cabin in the woods in the middle of nowhere.
*Strange artifact found in creepy basement and someone in the group stupidly reads latin inscription aloud (even though there are tons of warnings written in English specifically telling people NOT to read it aloud).
*Suddenly the weather changes, power goes out, roads get flooded etc., etc…
*Someone gets possessed.
*Shit goes down.
*Everyone dies horribly disgusting deaths.
*Oh and of course, let’s not forget tree rape.
With the exception of perhaps the last item on that list, these plot points have appeared in varied forms in countless films since (ie: Cabin In The Woods (2012), Cabin Fever (2002), Antichrist (2009), and Wrong Turn (2003) to name a few), so it’s forgivable that this version of EVIL DEAD (2013) employs all of those as well…albeit with extra blood, gore, violence, and carnage to cater to today’s more fickled palette audience.
EVIL DEAD (2013) does its fair share of balancing between horrifically frightening and ridiculously absurd. I mean how many blows to the head and body with a crowbar, multiple shots from a nail gun, rag doll tossed around a room, and torched can one person endure before it’s time to just clock out permanently? In one particular scene, a character manages to rip off ‘their’ own arm after it is trapped under a vehicle simply by pulling really hard! Uh…what?! No way. That person would have passed out from the excruciating pain never mind stretching ‘their’ arm out like warm salt water taffy. But I digress…
Is this movie worth seeing? If you are a fan of gory and graphic horror movies, copious amounts of blood on screen, and shitting your pants in fear, then I highly recommend this movie. If you are the type of cinephile that picks apart conventions and clichés, shitty acting, constantly compares movie remakes with their originals, or gets queasy when there is so much blood on screen that you feel as though you are bathing in it — then I would say give it a pass. Personally, I really enjoyed this movie and thought that it was enough of a departure from the 1981 classic original to stand (or crawl) on its own two feet.