Friday, April 25, 2014

Evil Dead (2013) - Review

The trees are at it again.
I thought I would have a lot to say about the Evil Dead remake.  After all, the original films are some of my favorite movies of all time (in fact, I'd have a hard time putting just one in the series on my top 10 list).  But in actuality, it's just kind of a fun movie.  And it's especially enjoyable if you're a fan of the originals, as there are tons of nods to all three in the series; however, it also does itself a favor and adds a bit new to the mix.

The most interesting thing about this film to me prior to its release is what tone it would have.  The original The Evil Dead is pretty much a straight-up horror movie with a few comedic moments, but the comedy aspect is incredibly dark and very underplayed.  Evil Dead 2 mixes a lot more slapstick with the horror, but it's still very much a 'horror' movie.  Army of Darkness, on the other hand, is pure comedy (save for a couple of jump scares).  While all three are pretty perfect movies in their own ways, I was curious which route the remake would take.

Turns out it decided to go more balls to the wall horror like the original film, which I didn't mind at all.  There aren't a lot of "balls to the wall" horror movies anymore, and this movie, while not especially scary, is very intense and forboding the entire time.  There are a few creepy moments spread throughout the film, mostly conveyed through great imagery like the cellar demon (different but equally as effective as the original) and the demon at the end (I don't want to spoil too much for those that haven't seen it).
Sweet dreams!

The plot is not something you really want to concern yourself with.  It's the typical people-go-to-a-cabin plot, albeit it has a bit of a twist in that they're there not to party, but to get the main character, Mia, off of heroin.  On the subject of the cast, very few of them get enough attention, but a couple make a good impression.  For one, Jane Levy as Mia and Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric are standouts, both bringing very realistic and sympathetic performances to a movie that doesn't really require them.  It elevates the movie to another level beyond that of simple gorefest (though the effects are admittedly top-notch and infamously absent of CGI).

If you're at all a fan of the Evil Dead franchise, you may be disappointed by a distinct lack of Bruce Campbell, but hopefully the many nods and references to the original coupled with the new direction will keep you satisfied until the inevitable sequel and or crossover with the original series arises.  For what it's worth, it's a pretty groovy movie.

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