Director: Fede Alvarez
MPAA Rating: R
Film Pulse Score: 7/10
Fede Alvarez’s remake of the classic Sam Raimi horror film The Evil Dead bills itself as “The most terrifying film you will ever experience.” While that may not necessarily be true, it is one of the bloodiest, most cringe worthy films to hit theaters in recent memory. This isn’t a film for the faint of heart and, like the original, eviscerates your nerves till you’re nothing more than a quivering pile of goo like in the movie.
The plot of Evil Dead sticks close to the source material. A group of friends visit a dilapidated cabin owned by the grandparents of siblings Mia and David (Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez), only to find a strange book in the basement. After one of the friends (Lou Taylor Pucci) reads some passages from the book, all hell breaks loose.
What transpires next is a nearly endless onslaught of terror and blood. Simply stating the fact that there’s copious amounts of blood doesn’t even come close to truly expressing just how much blood and gore this movie contains. Think about the bloodiest movie you’ve ever seen and add 100 gallons more and you’re getting close.
It’s this aspect that is clearly at the forefront and focus of this film. The story takes a backseat fairly early on and only occasionally makes an appearance to simply give the viewer a few short moments of reprieve. While most of the film is presented in a mostly tongue in cheek way and never feels too serious, there are several moments that feel entirely too melodramatic. Thankfully, these scenes are few and far between and ultimately prove to be nothing more than a mere distraction from the carnage.
The big question people are having with Evil Dead is if the remake does the original justice? For the most part, this does feel like a solid homage to the original. One thing to remember, the first Evil Dead contained very little humor, where the second was essentially a remake of the first with added humor and better effects. The remake borrows elements from both films, though it more closely matches the sequel. All the major beats are present in this as well which only hammered in the Evil Dead tone. Many of the iconic scenes from the original were revisited and much of the camerawork felt true to the franchise.
In addition to taking it to the next level in the violence department, it’s the visual styling of this film that sets it apart from your more standard horror flicks. Nearly all the effects work was practical and looked fantastic. Every cut, stab, dismemberment, and shotgun blast looked disgustingly real and only made things all the more disturbing. The claustrophobic feel, sweeping camera movements, and extreme closeups all aided in the nerve shattering chaos that was unfolding in the tiny cabin.
Despite a mediocre script and a few missteps in the story, Evil Dead is not one to be missed, if only just to witness the utter insanity of it. Some may take issue with the decisions of the characters or the occasional moments of cheese, but I implore those people to rewatch one of the original films and they will find all those things present. Alvarez has proven himself to be a more than competent successor to the series and unless you’re not into nail gun fights, this is a must see.