Cue the ominous cabin in the woods. Cue an unknowing and stubborn group of friends bent on staying in said cabin. Cue demons, hell-spawns, a chainsaw and turn the gore up a few levels. Even in its pit of predictability, “Evil Dead” looks to deliver one thing. Namely, to send you on a ride to hell and back. With big shoes to fill, this remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 “The Evil Dead” does its best to live up to the gore-fest and horror hype.
We begin with five friends traveling to an old family cabin in hopes of helping one of their own, Mia (Jane Levy), kick her drug habit. Her gang of pals includes her older brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) along with his girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), and their childhood friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas). Surprisingly, there don’t seem to be any signs of life remotely close, but hey, what better place would you rather detox in? Upon further investigation of their new home for the weekend, the gang discovers a bloodied trap cellar, complete with strung-up cat carcasses and a book of evil curses.
You know, perfectly non-threatening home decor.
The only logical step for Eric is to start reading the book even though it clearly states, “Leave this book alone.” He starts saying chants, avoiding the text that explicitly says, “Never speak these words.” I guess some people can’t take a hint.
Possession ensues. Taking hold of Mia, an evil presence begins offing group members one by one, in some of the most gruesome, over-the-top ways I’ve seen recently. It’s amazing what qualifies for an R-rating nowadays. There are a few jump scares, but the real terror comes from the gripping deaths that come to follow. “Evil Dead” holds tight, and won’t let you turn away, even when it’s obvious what’s coming next.
In this facet, “Evil Dead” really does the original more justice. The special effects and makeup are top notch, as blood (literally) showers all over the screen, bones break and limbs are severed. “Evil Dead” isn’t exactly going to win awards for plot development, and neither are its actors, but both get the job done. The actors appear to be terrified, and you will be too. Just forgive them; they aren’t the brightest bunch among horror movie protagonists. They’re clever enough for some one-liners, but sadly, not smart enough to realize they need to get out of that cabin.
Lucky enough for the audience, they don’t leave, as “Evil Dead” is here to give one of the goriest movie experiences in theaters, and luckily, it doesn’t feel as forced as some movies. I’m looking at you, “Saw.”
If you’re a horror/gore buff, or maybe just looking for some cheap Friday night thrills, “Evil Dead” is just for you.
Movie: Evil Dead
Director: Fede Alvarez
Information about “Evil Dead” can be found at evildead-movie.com.