Evil Dead: Movie Review

The original 1981 "The Evil Dead" became a cult hit because it was able to mold subtle comedy into a scary, gore-filled experience. Thirty-two years after, we have this remake of sorts (or a reboot as its filmmakers say). Given its granddaddy's well-known fan base, this remake is one of the most hyped films this year. Unfortunately, director Fede Alvarez decided to take his version into a very deep serious turn. The result is one disturbing, extremely gory and terror-filled film that lacks anything special that could distinguish it from all other films in the genre. Well, in simple terms, the new "Evil Dead" is a good enough watch but it is nothing against the original - with or without the hype.

A group of friends are meeting at an old cabin deep in the woods. The group consists of Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas), Mia (Jane Levy), Mia's brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and David's girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore). The group has arranged this getaway as Mia's opportunity to become clean after her drug addiction caused her to overdose to the point of clinical death. Olivia suggests that Mia will attempt to bail out, and they should keep her from leaving, to which they agree. Upon entering the cabin, Mia complains about a stench of death, to which the rest of the group appear oblivious. After David's dog begins sniffing at a rug in the main room, they discover the door to a cellar. There, they find a book titled Naturom Demonto. Ignoring repeated warnings scrawled on its pages, Eric ends up reading a passage from the book aloud, which casts a demon that starts haunting Mia. Terrified, she pleads the group to leave, but they refuse as agreed. The demon soon stalks each and everyone in the group and declares that everyone will die before the night ends.

"Evil Dead" has a few nods to the original film (that fans would definitely appreciate) but after that fact, this remake heavily deviates from its source material. The biggest and most noticeable deviation is its seriousness and extremely dark tone. The plot in itself gives back stories to what the group is up against and the reasons why the group is in the cabin is more established. Whereas before, the group goes into a random cabin just for fun, this time around, it is a family cabin for a drug rehab intervention thing. Unfortunately and ironically, the film with all its serious undertones forgot about its characters. Characters seem dumb in particular and honestly, we never felt we had a connection with them. Most die but you wouldn't care less. Another thing, if you expected funny facial expressions and effective one-liners then this isn't the film for you as neither appear on screen. On one end though, this makes this version extremely disturbing and this is where the film shines mostly. The cinematography in particular is scary and creepy and coupled with over-the-top bloody gore, this is one film that could and should make you queasy. In fact, the first half may seem a drag but once the group unleashes the demon, the film never lets up on the scares and gore until the credits roll. But the lack of anything that could differentiate "Evil Dead" from any other horror film of late is the biggest reason why you should avoid it. At the end of the day, the film turns out to be a generic scare fest but sadly, nothing more.

Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- nasty, over-the-top gore that doesn't let up once it starts

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- lacks the "punch" that makes the original memorable
- characters are a one-sided, stupid affair

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