Josh Wilding Reviews: EVIL DEAD
Early last month, I was lucky enough to see Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead. There's been a lot of hype surrounding this new take on Sam Raimi's beloved horror movie, but is it yet another poor remake of a classic or actually worth spending your money on? Find out here with my spoiler-free verdict!
We've endured what seems like an endless stream of horror remakes over the past decade or so, so thank goodness that Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead is the first that manages to be just as good (arguably a little better) than the original. It's worth noting that with The Evil Dead being the movie that spawned countless similar efforts - the general scenario of which was mocked in last year's The Cabin in the Woods - that there's a lot here which feels very familiar on the surface. Regardless of whether it's characters making the most idiotic of decisions (WHY WOULD YOU GO IN THERE?!) or the way that they all inevitably get gorily dispatched one after the other, Evil Dead doesn't bring anything particularly new to the genre. It is however a whole lot of fun!
Alvarez deserves a great deal of credit for cleverly handling so many of the gruesome and horrifying scenes with practical, rather than visual, effects. In the hands of a lesser director, this remake more than likely have been in 3D and heaps of fake looking CGI blood would have been flowing all over the place in order to make the higher ticket price justifiable. However, what we actually get is a movie which - like The Evil Dead - uses real make-up effects to help turn what we're seeing into something all the more grotesque. You see, this is by no means a film for the faint of heart. Evil Dead is bloody, brutal and enough to leave you feeling faint; limbs are severed, faces mutilated and no one escapes without being inflicted to some seriously bad stuff.
The movie hinges on the performance of Jane Levy and she does an incredible job as both the junky trying to kick her habit and the demoniacally possessed girl who is sure to give you nightmares. It takes no time at all to forget her cutesy Suburgatory character, as Levy shows off some serious acting chops in a demanding role that really does require her to give it her all. The rest of the cast are instantly forgettable, although that's more down to just how one dimensional they are. The problem is, they're just all so damn stupid and it's distracting to constantly be shaking your head when they make such foolish choices! To be fair though, that is a staple of this kind of film and they're a mostly better developed and more interesting bunch than most, with Shiloh Fernandez definitely proving to be the stand out.
So, just how scary is Evil Dead? VERY. My heart was pounding for the last 20 minutes or so and there's more than enough edge of your seat moments scattered throughout to leave even the most hardcore horror fan happy. On the other hand, it could be argued that its reliance on gore means that the movie is actually more horrifying than it is truly frightening. Alvarez makes the most of the score and some clever camera tricks to provide a few jumps though and there's no denying just how much fun there is to be had with this remake. It pays homage to the original, while also doing more than enough to firmly establish itself as its own thing. This is by no means a direct remake...if anything, it feels like a continuation of some sort. Speaking of which, make sure you stick around until after the credits!
"The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience?" The poster for Evil Dead promises a lot, and for the most part, it delivers. A horror movie for true horror fans, you should definitely check this one out...just don't expect to sleep well the night you do!
2013 Reviews So Far...
• The Last Stand (3/5)
• Bullet To The Head (1/5)
• Wreck-It Ralph (4/5)
• A Good Day To Die Hard (2/5)
• Warm Bodies (4/5)
• Mama (3/5)
• Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D (3/5)
• Oz: The Great and Powerful 3D (4/5)
In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
Jane Levy as Mia
Shiloh Fernandez as David
Jessica Lucas as Olivia
Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric
Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie
RELEASE DATE: April 5th, 2013 (US). April 12th, 2013 (UK).
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