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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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Evil Dead (2013) 
Review: Evil Dead
3/4 stars

Evil Dead delivers! The Evil Dead remake that we all dreaded when first announced sky rockets at full blast and never dies out. It's vicious, very gory, and tons of fun, throwing you into the middle of the living hell surrounding these youngsters, as they get brutalized in some of the most insane, blood-soaked ways. Some people may be unable to stomach the graphic violence, but the fans of the original trilogy (like me) will appreciate it. Of all the factors that make the original films so good, what really made the fans really love them so much is the lovable Bruce Campbell and the brilliant comedy factor, which this film is obviously devoid of. But fear not - once evil enters our heroine and all hell breaks loose, you'll forgive the film and enjoy the wild ride.

For the most part, I enjoyed the film with reservations. It has some problems, but there's definitely more here to like then dislike. Director Fede Alvarez (who made a really great Youtube film called Panic Attack - look it up) gives the film a nice visual look, through some really nice cinematography that makes many of the film's best moments stand out. The film also has many Raimi-esc shots that'll bring you back to the original Evil Dead films - including those curved camera shots and those quick zoom-ins on the action and the fast POV shot of the demon flying through the woods. It's also a very tonally consistent film. The film sustains a very atmospheric and dark and diabolical tone without breaking it by adding unnecessary comedy or anything like that. It's certainly well crafted, more than anybody might expect.

What is refreshing about this film is that there's actually a reason why these people can't just leave the cabin at first. You'd want to yell at them to leave once the first person gets nearly brutalized, but they refuse for a legitimately good reason. But once they give in and try, the road is flooded - so... sucks for them, I guess. After a cool and pretty funny opening scene, we enter the central story, which basically follows these five twenty somethings - David, Eric, Mia, Olivia, and Natalie (DEMON) - who go off to a cabin in the woods to free Mia (Jane Levy) from her addiction to drugs. While exploring the cabin and go into the basement which consists of hanging dead cats, they find this creepy book that catches Eric's (Lou Taylor Pucci) attention. He reads the book, which of course make the demons rise from hell and one by one take over the body of them.

Another good thing about the film is Jane Levy's performance. You might be annoyed that Ash isn't in this film, but Mia is pretty awesome and wonderfully played by Jane Levy. Her strong and vulnerable performance makes Mia (as Elvis Duran and the Morning Show would say) the badass chick of the day. Everybody else is fine.

Of course, every Evil Dead movie needs blood, and boy does this movie have it. It gleefully delivers the outrageous gore and brutal violence in some of the most extreme ways. One of the best and most disgusting moments involve an arm, a pissed off demon, and an electric knife. You get the idea. All of the scenes of brutality are well stage and very effective. It's all exciting and fun, resulting in grips and screams and some laughs. But what's great is that it just doesn't hold back - it's relentless and very intense. The impressive thing is that there's very little CGI in the film. Besides the opening scene, which may not have had much CGI but certainly looked it, the movie is almost completely CGI-free, which is both impressive and refreshing.

But it's not a perfect film - it's got a few problems. First of all, the dialogue is terrible. Much of the dialogue in the film's opening moments is forced and just badly written. There's a moment in the film when Eric sees a possessed character doing something pretty nasty to her body. He cries, "Oh my God! Why the fuck would you do that?" Really the beginning is where most of the film's problems are. Not only is the dialogue forced and bad, but it's totally rushed and lazily handled up until the reading of the Book of the Dead. Also, later in the film, I would've liked to see more possessed Mia popping her head out of the basement, taunting the rest of the group. The original had plenty of that, in this film Mia pops her head out once or twice.

Evil Dead is one of the better horror movie remakes out there. It's well crafted and well directed. It succeeds in delivering what the Evil Dead fans and horror junkies desire, and has more than enough terror to entertain regular moviegoers. I'm proud of Fede Alvarez. The man has some great talent, and I'm excited to see what he makes next - perhaps a theatrical version of Panic Attack? As for Bruce Campbell... stay after the credits.

3/4


Recent Comments

Comment On Review

Chris Kavan

Chris Kavan- wrote on 04/07/13 at 05:48 PM CT

 

Great review - I have much more faith in this movie now. And now I know to stay until the real end of the film... groovy.

 
 
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