22 April 2013

Evil Dead 2013 - REVIEW

There is no better way to watch a horror film than at a drive-in... Oh the nostalgia. I still remember the first double feature I ever saw at the drive-in, Halloween III: Season of the Witch and Scanners. We were good all the way through Halloween III but when the guys head exploded at the beginning of Scanners, we were OUT! Scared to death and ready to go home. With so few drive-ins in existence today, I'm glad we have one close enough to us that I'm able to enjoy it with my children. Galaxy Drive-In opened just a few miles down the road from us in 2004 with three screens. Since then, they've expanded to six screens and added a second snack bar and converted from film to all digital this year. So, when the remake of The Evil Dead was announced, I knew IF I was going to see it, I'd have to see it there.

So, here we go with the much anticipated (by some) horror film of the year... the Evil Dead remake!! It's images were blasted online and at conventions teasing everyone with it's goriness for months ahead of time. It's praises were shouted over and over by fans who were already sure they would love it. Mia (Jane Levy) is a drug addict whose most recent overdose her friends Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) scared that she won't survive much longer. They decide to her to her family's cabin in the woods to quit cold turkey. It's not the first time they've had to step in, but they're hoping that with Mia's brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) around, she'll have the support she needs to get through it this time. The moment they arrive strange things start to happen. Mia starts to complain about a foul stentch that apparently no one else can smell. After venturing into the cellar, David and Eric something that's sealed shut and bound with barbed wire. Curious , Eric cuts the book free and finds a book that's bound in human flesh that comes complete with it's own incantation. So he does what any person would do, he reads the passage of the book that clearly warns them not to. Isn't he supposed to be the smart one? Of course, reading the words allowed brings for an ancient evil that will possess them all one by one until no soul has been left unclaimed.

Fans of the original The Evil Dead (1981) will remember how the simplicity of it contributed to it's greatness. Sam Raimi's directorial debut was a darkly humorous, low budget sensation that still has a huge following today. However, you won't find much of that "simple charm" here. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find more than one likeable character here. And what's more, the ones that you WANT to like aren't given enough screen time hence there's no time to get to know them. If you scanned the world forty times over, I don't think you'd find that many stupid people within the same group of friends... EVER. How they've managed to live as many years as they have is beyond me. The acting for the most part was good, through no fault of the actors. I personally blame subpar writing and a lack of character development. It's hard to praise any one person in particular since I wasn't all that interested in any of them.

The shining star of Evil Dead is clearly the make up effects. It's rare these days to find a big budgeted horror film that's not rife with CGI so I applaud director Fede Alvarez and his make up department for the stellar practical effects. There is a chainsaw scene that is sure to be every gore hounds wet dream! But in the midst of all the dismembering, blood letting and nail gun attacks, the story gets lost. There's never any exposition that brings the back story together. No real hint as to what is possessing them other than a few scribbles in the Book of the Dead and that is a detriment to the film. Something is lost along the way when you're not quite sure what you're watching. Fans of the original know what's going on but a younger audience may not.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for it's compelling story but if you're on the hunt for a mind blowing, balls to the wall good time, this film is most definitely one you should watch. What it lacks in story, dialogue and character build up, it certainly makes up for in blood letting and cinematography. There are also subtle nods to the original and a superb score that help propel the film forward. As for me, I still prefer the original over the remake. It's kind of like an E-reader. They're nice to have around but they'll never provide you with the same feeling you get by turning the pages of a paperback book.


  1. A cool horror movie that loves its blood and gore, but that’s just about it. Nothing more, nothing less. Nice review.

  2. At last!! I've been waiting for your thoughts on ED for a little while now. Your opinions are pretty much on par with mine. But judging by your review I think I liked it a little more. But then, I knew going in that it wasn't going to be a masterpiece of storytelling or anything, just all out chaos. Anyway, great review as usual.