Sunday, April 14, 2013

Movie Review - Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead (2013). Directed by Fede Alvarez.

The opening prologue shows a father setting his possessed daughter on fire and then shooting her in the face at point blank range.

Cut to the present. Mia (Jane Levy) is trying to kick her drug habit and has her friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) for support. Mia’s estranged brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) are here too.

The 5 youngsters have chosen a cabin in the woods, away from human civilization. Of course, this is the same place where the previously mentioned burning and shooting took place.

Shiloh Fernandez as David in Evil Dead (2013)
Shiloh Fernandez as David
They discover a lot of weird stuff in the cellar. Eric is very curious about a book, "Naturom Demonto" covered by barbed wires and has been clearly labeled (in human blood) to be left alone. Eric disregards these warnings. We would not have a horror movie, if Eric did otherwise!

Following the same course of events as in the original movie, Mia faces the same ordeal in the woods (aka being violated by the trees in the woods).

Mia wants to leave the cabin and return to the city. Mia has failed in her previous efforts and her friends (especially Olivia, a registered nurse) are determined to see to it that she succeeds this time.

Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric in Evil Dead (2013)
Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric
Soon, the others start changing one by one into deadites. David is still not convinced that supernatural forces are at work. Only Eric suspects that his chanting of the verses in the book might be the reason.

I am a fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy. Sam Raimi made the first movie on a shoestring budget and that movie is a certifiable classic. The sequels had as much slapstick humor as horror. The Sam Raimi-Bruce Campbell worked wonders.

In the latest movie, there is no successful replacement for Bruce Campbell’s Ash.

Jessica Lucas as Olivia in Evil Dead (2013)
Jessica Lucas as Olivia 
The movie lacks the enjoyable humor and fun, that Raimi brought to the earlier movies. The aspects of the movie I enjoyed the most were the references to Raimi’s movies and the nail gun “fight” between a deadite and a character. Gore has become the trend with the horror movie genre these days and Evil Dead is only happy to continue this (unfortunate) case.

To give the movie credit where it’s due, the practical effects are very convincing and executed very well. The music by Roque Baños makes some effective use of sirens. 

The last 15 minutes were genuinely gripping. If only the rest of the movie had been as much fun…

Jane Levy as Mia in Evil Dead (2013)
Jane Levy as Mia
Jane Levy is the best of the bunch with an excellent performance. Lou Taylor Pucci and Jessica Lucas fare the next best. Elizabeth Blackmore is adequate.

The biggest disappointment is Shiloh Fernandez as David. He seems to be a student of the wooden faced school of acting. Hope he achieves the same level of success as other (equally unappealing but highly successful) contemporaries like Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner.

Click on the link below to buy your copy:

Recommended to gorehounds only. Readers looking for a genuine horror movie are recommended to check out the original Evil Dead trilogy or the recent releases Sinister or Cabin in the Woods.

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Image Sources: FilmDistrict, Ghost House Pictures and TriStar Pictures

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  1. I am not a horror fan, except for a few classics like Psycho and Jaws, so this is definitely not my type of film. Great review, nonetheless.


  2. Not a fan of horror movies, so I probably won't see this one, but love the jab at Twilight...

  3. I have always wanted to see The Evil Dead trilogy and planned to see this one first. But I'm gonna start with the trilogy then. Loved Cabin in the woods, don't know about Sinister but I'll follow your advice. Thanks for the review anyway :)

    1. Thanks Zoe for stopping by.

      I enjoyed Cabin in the Woods. That movie was itself kind of a remake of the original Sam Raimi 1981 movie, The Evil Dead. It has pretty much the same plot and was equal parts fun and horror - again like the original Evil Dead movies.

      I think you will like Sinister. Great acting by Ethan Hawke and an intense soundtrack make it a good horror flick.


  4. This trend of remakes of horror movies is not my thing either. LOVED Cabin in the Woods though, which, as you say, effectively remade Evil Dead with some clever Whedonisms.

    1. Well said, GK. Gore only makes for a violent movie and not necessarily a horror movie.

      Speaking of Cabin in the Woods, I would like to know the "Whedonisms" you are referring to.


  5. Thanks for this review. The first Evil Dead films were great campy fun. I was worried that this one would be more or less your standard slasher/horror film. I guess I was right. No one can replace Bruce "Come Get Some" Campbell.

    1. You are welcome, Rick.

      You nailed it about the original Evil Dead movies. They were fun and are classics in the horror genre.

      This new movie is good, but not a classic by any stretch of imagination. And yes, Bruce "Ash" Campbell is irreplaceable.


  6. In a way, it's like what they've done with Star Trek - these new movies aren't really for us, but for a much younger generation who aren't familiar with the originals. The good thing is that, hopefully, the clever ones will bother to check out the originals and start their film education.

  7. Great review. I got to say, I really enjoyed this movie. I was nervous going in that it wouldn't honor Sam Raimi's masterpiece, but thankfully it played plenty of homage to the original. While part of me does miss the humor, I don't mind that much since I got plenty of action and gore.

    I finally got around to reviewing this movie on my own novice, review-blog. I could always use an experienced critic's opinion to help me fine-tune my reviews. Check it out if you get the time.