Here we are then; Evil Dead – the remake of the 1980s horror classic has finally arrived – is it a major disappointment? Thankfully no. Is it something special? Nope, it sits nicely at a level where it gives you exactly what you’d expect from it – tons of gore and grisly dismemberment. This is one of those movies you need to watch with a group of people or at least in a packed screening.
I went along with some friends and had good fun; but it’s certainly not what the poster claims as being the ‘most terrifying film you will ever experience’, this is probably down to the fact that I’ve been so desensitised to violence in cinema nowadays, that it doesn’t bother me when someone has a syringe daggered into their eye or when someone has their arm sawed off with an electric meat knife. Thankfully this remake doesn’t rely on just throwing gore at the audience; there are genuine scares and jumps to be had with this new addition to the Evil Dead franchise.
The film is directed by Fede Alvarez who made a short science fiction film on a budget of about three hundred dollars a couple of years ago, which caught everyone’s attention on YouTube. Alvarez has a real nice knack for visuals in his first feature length release; the cabin and looming woods are nicely photographed, and the iconic POV shot seen throughout the original trilogy where the camera menacingly swoops through the woods is updated in this version to a nice effect; but this isn’t to say that Alvarez is just redoing the iconic Raimi shots; he brings a bit of his own style to the picture and it’s bloody good fun.
There are only two downsides to the film really: first is the lack of humour which is prominent in the 1982 version and it’s sequels. It’s interesting that the filmmakers ventured on with this film without at least injecting some humour, considering its set in a cabin; a stock horror location which has been twisted, turned, spoofed and lap dashed with postmodern touches for years now. But while the film lacks in the humour department which the original trilogy is remembered for; this remake makes up for it with palm sweating violence and terror on screen.
The second issue I have is the characters: the film thankfully doesn’t give us a bunch of dumb, brain-dead teenagers looking to get drunk and laid; instead we have a group of twenty-somethings who go up to this abandoned cabin to help a friend kick a cocaine habit. It’s a suitable idea with characters who actually have an interesting reason to be holed up in the middle of nowhere, but sadly the film doesn’t really try to capitalise on this little set-up hereafter, and before we know it the blood fest begins and we’ve hardly had enough time to get to know anymore about the characters.
That said, this is a really entertaining film. It’s nice to see a horror movie like this not completely relying on CGI, but instead using some nice gruesome practical effects which really add to the film’s qualities. All in all, Evil Dead manages to avoid the curse of recent horror remakes and is a nice welcome addition to the Evil Dead universe which I’m sure fans will happily embrace. Get some friends together and head to your nearest cinema where this is playing – it’s groovy.
4 stars ★★★★✰