EVIL DEAD (2013) – Film Review

Mia (Jane Levy), a drug addict, is determined to kick the habit. To that end, she asks her brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), and their friends Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) to accompany her to their family’s remote forest cabin to help her through withdrawal. Eric finds a mysterious Book of the Dead at the cabin and reads aloud from it, awakening an ancient demon. All hell breaks loose when the malevolent entity possesses Mia.

Isn’t it kind of amazing how the Evil Dead franchise has managed to stay alive and fresh as long as it has? Sometimes, a movie series can go on for far too long and studios keep churning out sequels or remakes that feel bland, tired, and repetitive. But the Evil Dead movies have always managed to have fun and hugely entertaining tricks up their sleeves.

The first couple of films in the series have been hailed by critics and audiences alike for being genuinely hilarious, bloody good zombie flicks. Sam Raimi is an incredible director and with Evil Dead II, he took what fans loved about the first movie so much and amped everything up, making it one of the most beloved horror-comedies of all-time. As a matter of fact, I’m sure it is a lot of people’s favorite horror-comedy.

As wild and as absolutely bonkers this franchise is, it wasn’t until Fede Álvarez’s 2013 reboot of Evil Dead that the series became full-on horror and no more funny business. And while I think Evil Dead II is still the most entertaining and well-done film in the series to date, it’s hard to deny just how gruesome and incredibly fun Álvarez’s remake is.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

It does play into some relatively overused horror film tropes along the way and if you have ever seen a horror movie throughout the duration of your life, you will more than likely know what’s going to happen and how it will all end. But that’s okay because, with 2013’s Evil Dead, the most important element is not so much the ending point, but rather the journey.

This movie is essentially ninety-two minutes of pure insanity and it surprisingly manages to fit quite a bit of character depth and motivations into it as well. Yes, you get to see Jane Levy as an insanely creepy and utterly terrifying demon and give one of the most underrated horror performances of the 2010s, but there is quite a bit more to her character than that.

Right from the start, we understand that her relationship with her brother David is rocky, to say the least. Her drug addiction has gotten worse and she wants to do everything she can to get clean and get healthy, which is why she wants to go out to this remote cabin with David and a group of their closest friends. They want to spend time together and get away from the world for a bit.

But because this is a horror movie, this obviously doesn’t go one-hundred-percent as planned. As a matter of fact, it kind of goes the exact opposite way they were expecting. After about twenty minutes, the film becomes a non-stop bloodfest that is sure to entertain those looking for a brutal moviegoing escape, but if you are somebody that doesn’t really like seeing blood in movies, then you’re absolutely going to loathe this film.

It features some genuinely impressive atmosphere and wonderfully creepy cinematography by Aaron Morton as well as some remarkably strong performances, even if it does contain some horror tropes along the way. Even with its faults, Evil Dead is a great example of a reboot done right.

Overall Grade: A-

MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content, and language

Cast: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Directed by: Fede Álvarez

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing

Release Date: April 5, 2013

Running Time: 92 minutes

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