Release Date: April 12, 2013
Rating [ R ]
Director: Fede Alvarez
Written By: Diablo Cody, Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues Mendez, Sam Raimi
Cast: Elizabeth Blackmore, Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Shiloh Fernandez
In this remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, Mia, a young woman struggling with sobriety, heads to a remote cabin with her brother and a group of friends, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to the summoning of dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
Evil Dead 2013 re-imagines the story first made famous by Sam Raimi’s (Oz the Great and Powerful) 1981 cult-classic flick, The Evil Dead. In this new version, a group of five victims friends travel out to a remote cabin in the woods to help Mia (Jane Levy) kick her drug addiction, cold turkey.
When science teacher Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) finds a mysterious book in the horrific basement of the cabin, he unwittingly unleashes an evil force that grabs hold of Mia and begins to infect the other members of the group one-by-one. Soon, it’s up to Mia’s estranged brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez), to put an end to the growing evil… if he can manage the courage to do what needs doing.
In the dreaded land of movie remakes, Evil Dead (2013) is that rare example of a film that manages to strike a near-perfect balance: It’s a new interpretation offering something slightly different, while simultaneously honoring the spirit of the original, and what made it so enjoyable. The soul of Evil Dead is alive in this new version – in all of its sick and twisted glory.
Evil Dead architect Sam Raimi and his leading man Bruce Campbell are behind this new version (serving as producers), and it is their choice of behind-the-camera personnel that makes the remake work. Director Fede Alvarez and his writing partner Rodo Sayagues broke onto the scene with their impressive apocalyptic short film, Panic Attack!, and that imaginative filmmaking is put to great use in the shock-gore world of Evil Dead.
From the get-go, the film is a full-speed assault that never lets up, moving from one horrific sequence to another seamlessly and efficiently, with nary a second of dead time (sorry, bad pun). Sure, it’s a pretty repetitive and episodic progression (gore-horror scene 1, gore-horror scene 2, etc…) but each of the “episodes” is imaginative, fun, gross, and tense enough to keep your body clenched tight. In short: from start to finish, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from Evil Dead. The movie also relies mainly on old-school practical effects, and the difference is certainly noticeable in its impact. There are also many stylistic nods to Raimi’s film, which hardcore fans will recognize and appreciate.
Alvarez also shows off some great directorial skills in his own right when it comes to blocking, cinematography and sequencing, making the film richly visual and fun to watch. Our director also knows exactly what this film is supposed to be (more shock-gore experience than tension or jump scares), and he manages to stage many of the agonizing moments in a slow, purposed way, with an unflinching eye and sense of almost goading sense of sadism. (It’s painfully evident (bad pun #2) why this film once had an NC-17 rating.)