Evil Dead: Classic Horror Remake Hits Homerun
Evil Dead, the long-anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-classic horror, is finally here. If you’ve had the pleasure of viewing any of the three previous films from the Evil Dead franchise, then you probably already have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into, and quite possibly have your doubts as to what else the franchise has to offer.
With help from the original creator, Sam Raimi, and original The Evil Dead leading man, Bruce Campbell, serving as producers; Uruguayan director, Fede Alvarez, delivers a delightfully bloody spectacle, making this one of the most successful horror remakes to date.
Hoping to kick her heroin addiction, twenty-something Mia (Levy) finally commits to sobriety. Along with her estranged brother David (Fernandez), friend Olivia (Lucas), high-school professor, Eric (Pucci), and David’s dim-witted girlfriend Natalie (Blackmore), she agrees to be taken to her family’s remote cabin in the woods for a much-needed intervention.
The withdrawal symptoms hit hard and everyone involved is concerned as to whether Mia has the willpower and strength to overcome the urge to use again. Soon, their problems become a lot worse when the group discovers a scorched cellar – equipped with dead kitties hanging from the ceiling – and a mysterious book, wrapped in plastic bags and barbed wire. With a natural thirst for knowledge and seemingly poor judgment, Eric decides to examine the book. Despite the ominous warnings illustrated on its pages, he recites the passages aloud, accidentally unleashing a malevolent soul-devouring demon in the process.
While it’s not “the most terrifying film you will ever experience” – as the film’s marketing material suggests – Evil Dead will certainly be one of the bloodiest. Making his feature debut, Alvarez – who also co-wrote the script along with Rodo Sayagues and Juno’s Diablo Cody – decides to leave out the franchise’s trademark style and compensates by inducing a serious doze of gore. From tongues being cut in half to arm severing, Evil Dead shoots the gore-o-meter through the roof. Moreover, the characters, who are all equally likable, are given a certain depth to play with, making the audience connect and care – something not usually seen in these types of productions.
Alvarez also takes time to pay his respects to all three previous Evil Dead movies, bringing in the staple shotguns, chainsaws and Necronomicon illustrations into play again, and the make-up, which isn’t CGI, is remarkably well-done.
Collectively, the relatively unknown cast gets the job done with most of the praise going to Levy, who is undoubtedly the star of the show. Horror films can be very demanding and the young actress pulls out all the stops in this one. Fearless and entrancing, Levy undergoes several transformations and she copes with the pressure like a pro. Although nowhere near as captivating as the leading lady, Fernandez, Blackmore, Pucci and Lucas are all solid.
Genuinely disturbing and blood-thirsty in every sense of the word, Evil Dead is a perfect example that a remake can be done well.