116 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2013
When I first heard that Evil Dead was being remade, I wasn't happy. I've grown tired of reboots and remakes and I felt that remaking Evil Dead was akin to trampling on sacred ground. After discovering that Raimi and Campbell were backing it, I gave in and joined the the party, my uptight "Dead purist" friends be damned. This version starts out with the same creepy cabin in the same creepy woods but with a new group of twenty somethings unwittingly walking into the slaughter. A new element is introduced when we find out that the gang is trying to help their friend Mia recover from a nasty heroin addiction. Making the trip is her estranged brother David who wasn't around when Mia had to deal with their mother's death. Needless to say, there are a lot of family issues that the two never hashed out and hard feelings are being felt.
If being drug out to a creepy cabin in the woods by her friends wasn't bad enough, things are going to get worse for Mia. Ignoring all blatant signs to get out of dodge,(decaying cats strung up on the ceiling, A blood stained floor)the group decides to go poking around the basement where they find a book made out of human skin. The nerdy hipster friend(Eric) can't keep his hands off of it and decides to read it, going so far as to pencil trace the words that have been scribbled out. His meddling causes forest demon(s)to spring forth from their dormancy and they're quite smitten with the venerable Mia. To make matters worse, her friends take her warnings as the paranoid ramblings of a junky coming down from a fix. Soon the gore hits the fan and one by one the friends get possessed and off themselves and each other in increasingly gruesome ways.
I was pleased with Evil Dead. The acting was a little wooden at first but when Mia and David's past was established,I felt that it gave the plot a solid anchor. The gore was turned up a couple notches from the original but there were times when it reached absurd levels. I couldn't help laughing aloud when the characters kept using duct tape in attempts to reattach severed limbs. with that aside, Evil Dead delivers a solid film that even "Dead purists" will enjoy. I'd say that the film is more " cringe enduing" than "terrifying" but still very enjoyable none the less. I challenge you "Dead purist" to check it out!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2013
*Contains Minor Spoilers *
An exhausting, loud and pointless remake (or sequel) that may succeed in grossing you out, but that, along with some decent performances, and high production values, are not enough to outdo the original 1981 film which had style, wit and imagination. The story is basically the same as Raimi's original and "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn", a group of people, staying in a very creepy looking cabin (I mean really? They couldn't find a far more attractive option than this crumbling, disgusting disaster-piece in the woods for a getaway?) where they plan to help their troubled, vulnerable friend Mia (Jane Levy), overcome her very bad drug addiction and hopefully to mend her relationship with her estranged, stiff, boring brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez). Again, bad location choice. If I wanted to help someone in their addiction and want to cheer them up, this sinister, decayed, stench-infested, crumbling, nasty cabin in the middle of nowhere is the last place I would take them to. Rant over, moving on. They soon discover a funky stain on the floor boards which looks like dried blood (hint- to get the heck out of there) that leads them to the basement where hundreds of rotting animal carcasses hang from the ceiling (another hint- to get the heck out of there) and a mysterious book covered in a black plastic bag and wrapped in barbed wires (another hint- to get the heck out of there and to not open this freakin' book) is found. The group nerd, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), despite various warnings scribbled within the pages of the book, like "LEAVE THIS BOOK ALONE", foolishly recites some of the incoherent words written within out loud, in doing so, awakens a monstrous, blood-thirsty demon that soon wreaks havoc amongst them.
There are many things that frustrate me about this film. Yes, it had a fairly decent budget, $17 million, unlike the original movie which was made using loose change, so the production values, the special effects, the make-up effects, cinematography are all up to standard, maybe above average for the genre. Yes, it does move along at a very brisk pace and the overall tone, is dark, very dark, perhaps too dark. "Evil Dead" (2013) makes its point abundantly clear within the first 30 minutes - it is a dark tale of horror with no room for humor, or wit, or substance. If you want some laughs or enduring characters, go look somewhere else. Now, normally, I would not have a problem with this as sometimes I like my horror movies to be served cold and dark, but in this case, this is supposed to be a remake (or sequel, still confused as to what this is really) of "Evil Dead" and that film had plenty of quirky humor and characters and despite being a very low budget production, excelled in being witty, creative (some of the make-up effects were good, although not all since some of the actors wore some crazy wigs that looked incredibly cheesy) and had stylish direction. Yes, when viewed today, it is very, very dated and it suffers from its very low budget and primitive effects work. For instance, the clay-mation effects were not very successful. Yes, the character Ash (Bruce Campbell) was not as memorable in the first film (although nowhere near as forgettable as the characters in this film, more on this later) as he was in the 1987 sequel, which was really a remake with a better budget, where he gave an incredible physical performance and is the highlight of "Dead by Dawn". But both films had more to offer than the bloodshed. Both movies threw buckets of blood and ooze all over the place, the walls, the floors, the actor's faces etc and there was dismemberment galore but kept it tongue and cheek. That combined with the stylish direction and overall outrageousness kept you repulsed and amused at the same time.
This remake (or sequel), goes straight for the jugular and does not have a funny bone in its body. The characters are also lack-luster despite the overtly dramatic back story two of the characters are given. They are throwaway, unmemorable, bland characters. Despite some generally good performances, Levy is especially good, it is not enough, you end up rooting for no-one, and in the end, you are just left looking at boring people doing incredibly stupid things in a very clichéd horror film. The dialogue is also a bit forced. It is pretty much established within the first 10 minutes who each individual is thanks to this in your face, forced dialogue, the recovering addict- check, the estranged brother and friend- check, the girlfriend- check, the nurse and concerned friend - check, the geek- check. Which brings us to the star attraction, if it isn't the actors, the location, the direction, I guess you can state that the star of this freak show is the repulsive gore and the never-ending violence. It is excessive and admittedly, it doesn't give you a chance to catch your breath. There are far too many scenes of self mutilation and gore to the point that this film ends up being nothing more than torture porn. For those that love this stuff, you should not be disappointed but despite being a horror film fan, I have been one for the last 3 decades, I have come to the point where I do expect more from certain horror films. Considering the original film and the original sequel (and remake) offered more than just the gore, I was expecting the same of this remake. Was this too much to ask for? Despite a different set of characters and upgraded special effects, there is nothing new here, this has already been done twice before in the series and it was done better and without the humor, it falls a bit flat. You will just sit there waiting for the next gory set-piece and nothing more. There is no originality, no sense of humor, no memorable characters, no creative camera tricks and angles. It is glossier but uninspired. Aside from plenty of gore, there is not much here to recommend it, again, unless you just love torture porn, then this is right up your alley.
Overall, "Evil Dead" (2013) is pretty solid from a technical standpoint but that does not mean it is a great film. The makers of this entry did not have the budget restraints and obstacles of the original, boasting high production values and this shows in the final production. It delivers in being outlandish and gory but it is a disappointment since gory does not always equal scary and I was expecting much more from this. Apparently there will be a sequel and I can already see the premise. Let me see, another group of people in the same old creepy cabin in the same old creepy woods, who find the same old creepy book, and some-one foolishly recites the same old creepy incantations, resurrecting the same old creepy forces, some people will get possessed and much violence and gore will ensue. The End.
I hope they prove me wrong.
2.5 out of 5
123 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2013
I am not happy. Great remake, but I was expecting an Unrated cut for blu-ray. If the studio thinks they are double-dipping off me, think again. I'm waiting on the Hobbit (extended cuts already confirmed) and I'm waiting on this too. Stop being so damn greedy Hollywood!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
The effects are good, for the most part, with some genuine gory scenes.
All of the major issues are plot-based.
It starts with a weird flashback teaser that sets up the main premise of the story, which was basically stolen from every "demon-possession" film, ever.
Some of the original story remains...kids at a cabin, they find a strange book in the cellar, an idiot reads the words off a page that has scribbles on it, telling him NOT to read the words...panicked girl gets assaulted by trees in the woods, then the kids start getting possessed, one by one.
The problem is, they made the whole thing a basic satanic possession story; taking away all of the Lovecraftian and weird elements of the original. The great thing about that film was that there was no discernible reason for the things that were happening...no real way to stop it, and no idea how to reason with whatever was causing it.
This also left the film makers with the option to go completely crazy with the story, without having to explain very much about what was happening or why.
When they added this satanic plot element to the whole thing, they opened up so many plot holes in the story that it ends up looking like a bloody piece of swiss cheese. The ending seemed so nonsensical and wedged in at the last minute, all I kept thinking was that its only purpose was as an excuse for one more gory kill.
If you do end up watching this, make sure to keep watching 'till the end of the credits, so you can see the single most disappointing cameo in horror fiction...one that makes you wonder out loud, "Where were you when this thing was being MADE, man??"
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
without the original films... this movie would be nothing special at all. it has nowhere near as interesting a premise, and it appears to have the elements from the original films just pasted in, here and there, for attempted relevance. nope... didn't help. altho gory... the pacing in many parts, is what is actually deadly. also, while suspension of disbelief, is required in/for a lot of films... this one asks too much... --- BEGIN SPOILER--- when mia pulls so hard to free her hand and forearm, that it tears away from her arm.--END SPOILER--- that, and a few other things, are just too much to ask. there's a huge difference in the way the "over the top" is done in evil dead II, for example, and this blood fest. you could add modern gore to evil dead II, and it would be a far better picture than this film is. gone is the main bulk of the original, captivating, story line and premise, and substituted is a weak plot line. as i say.. you can not just throw in aspects of the originals and then just expect that to "do ". one should add to the lily, rather than attempt to make it better by guilding it... with blood, in this case. we are asked to believe that people survive these horrific things.. BEFORE.. they are possessed and while still "human". credibility, even in these films, counts for something. this was just another gore flick, without the allure and story of the original. if this version had come first.... there wouldn't have been an evil dead 2013. sorry... did not deliver the original goods.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sam Raimi may be more familiar to most people for being the director of the Tobey Maguire "Spiderman" trilogy or "Drag me to Hell" and even more recently by directing "Oz: The Great and Powerful". Yet, in 1981, when he was an unknown, he secured $90,000, some amateur actors, two-by-fours for camera rigs and went into the woods and filmed one of the most respected horror movies of all-time. Yes, "Evil Dead" 2013 is a remake and even though the original stands alone, I think it deserved a remake.
The premise has been done and overdone and even mocked a bit in the recent "Cabin in the Woods", but that is just how influential the 1981 "Evil Dead" was to the horror community. The remake is directed by Fede Alvarez and produced this time by Sam Raimi and original star of the movie Bruce Campbell. Knowing this, I assumed that we would see the same movie with better technology. I was wrong. Don't go into the 2013 "Evil Dead" expecting to see the same movie. It's similar, but original.
"Suburgatory" star Jane Levy plays Mia, a girl with a drug addiction. Her friends and brother have brought her to the `cabin' in order to have an intervention. This storyline alone adds to the original of just kids in a cabin. It gives the characters depth. As the events begin to unfold, you understand why the slow takeover of demons is at first undetectable. Not to mention, it gives you a place to feel comfortable with the characters before ripping the hope from your heart that anything good is going to happen.
The depth of character was a huge added improvement to the remake, but the creators really slammed the gore into overdrive and something else was missing. The original was a gore fest in its own right, with dismemberments and pitchforks and cackling severed heads, but this time, they really poured it on. This is not a bad thing, although there was something the original had, that I didn't feel; a haunting overall mood.
The original just felt creepy and quiet. Raimi let his camera work and the natural sounds do the work. Then when the shock moments happened, they were like something out of thin air. The unpolished nature of the 1981 movie was its best asset. This version, while still a good film, is polished. It has been hollywoodized and therefore loses that haunting, quiet, what-is-going-to-happen-next tension.
This is not a remake of the same film. It is a remake, but it isn't the same film. "Evil Dead" 2013 pays homage to the original, but also goes off in its own directions and that to me, makes up for a lot of its downsides. Some of the moments that stuck in my head from the original are gone from the new film, but there are plenty new images to stick in my head from this one. The most shocking thing about "Evil Dead" 2013 is that this is Fede Alvarez's first film. Remember that name. He has a brilliant eye for lighting, camera use and settings, especially for a rookie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2013
I came in expecting to be blown away. I left feeling like I missed something.
Truthfully; the special effects were better in the original. The scares were more real, and the tense feeling of dread is sorely missing from this one.
The backstory they tried to imply, was too little, and not enough information. That should of been left out if they weren't truly going after the mythology of the story.
Movie was slightly entertaining. I was truthfully scared of the first one more, and if their are any true fans who appreciated the first; they are going to be disappointed.
Aren't there enough horror plots we can make into movies, instead of rehashing what was done already?
There is an old saying,"If it's not broke, then don't fix it."
Oh, and giving this movie 3 stars was being extremely generous.
32 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2013
'You are all going to die tonight... of Boredom.'
Where would modern horror movies be without the Japanese, and their irrational fear of their own hair?
OK people, I'm gonna say this one last time for the record: Pallid women twitchily crawling around on all fours with their long, lank, stringy black hair dangling in front of their faces are ONLY SCARY THE FIRST HUNDRED OR SO TIMES. Then, after several hundred instances of twitching albino women with lank, black hair dangling in front of their faces relentlessly crawling after you, you kind of need to come up with something else that works. Something that is genuinely original. And much scarier.
And I fully expected that the creative minds behind the original 1981 'Evil Dead' (who also produced this film) would deliver the goods. Not to mention that Fede Alvarez, the talented Uruguayan indie film maker, who dropped the nuclear creativity bomb 'Ataque de Pánico!' (Panic Attack!) on an unsuspecting Internet in 2009, is the one in the director's chair.
Even without the 1981 original as its progenitor, 'Evil Dead' 2013 still boasts some impressive cinematic bloodlines. So how in Cthulhu's name did this movie not rock the very foundations of horror cinema?
OK, I don't demand that horror movies display perfect logic and common sense. Like the David character (Shiloh Fernandez), who creates a WORKING DEFIBRILLATOR out of an old car battery, a pair of syringes, some electrical wiring and duct tape... but this same guy can't kludge together some kind of a flotation device to transport his sister Mia and the others across the swollen, flooded river that has trapped them in the isolated cabin in the woods.
When I saw that defibrillator scene, I couldn't help thinking of that 1980s movie parody 'Back to the Beach' in which a character played by Bob Denver (Gilligan from the original 'Gilligan's Island') mentions that he once knew "a guy who could take one of these [holds up a pineapple] and one of these [holds up a coconut] and build a nuclear reactor, but he couldn't fix a two-foot hole in a boat!"
And I'm fine with all that. I don't demand that much from a horror movie, because I realize: hey, it's only a Horror Movie.
But I do expect a horror movie ought to generate some genuine suspense and real scares for the audience (me). Why then did this not work? Why is the original 'Evil Dead,' even with its hammy acting and its low budget even by 1981 standards, still better than this big budget gorefest?
Well, indulge me a little. Go back and watch the original 'Evil Dead' with its inexplicably swinging porch swing, and its rocking, heaving, steam-belching generator down in the cellar, and its ominous silences and its great use of locations for that 'in the forest at night' creepiness. Or, go back and watch the 1978 remake of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' starring Donald Sutherland, doubtless one of the creepiest, scariest movies of all time. Or watch the 1982 remake of 'The Thing' by director John Carpenter, another true fright-fest.
Notice that these films, especially at the beginning, build up fear and suspense by showing you places, things and people that seem ordinary on the surface, but the way they are presented to you in the context of the movie somehow transforms them into something ominous, ambiguous, and spooky. These older horror films restrained themselves from hitting you with the full brunt of the horror too early, and instead let the cumulative effect of all that weird, ominous, ambiguous stuff you were seeing process in your head a little. Get under your skin a little. Maybe get you to paranoically focus on innocent and/or ambiguous surroundings, even get you to see an ominous 'scare' or two in places where the film makers didn't even intend it.
Essentially, to get you into the right frame of mind, to where you know the Horror is coming but you're not sure what shape It will take when It finally arrives.
American horror author H.P. Lovecraft once wrote, 'The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.'
Maybe that's the problem I have with all this. Half an hour in, I already know exactly what it is I'm supposed to be afraid of: a blood-puking female Deadite with yellow contact lenses, who possesses people and makes them attack other people and graphically mutilate themselves. OK, got it. Now what else are you gonna do to scare me? There's still about an hour of this left, and this is all you've got that's gonna scare me? More blood n' guts?
All right, I'll admit that Mia (Jane Levy) sells it at first; she appears genuinely freaked out and terrified by what's happening. But then her performance devolves into a B-list retread of the possessed kid from 'The Exorcist' and, while it's clearly no worse than the ham-on-rye performance in the 1981 original, it ain't much better either.
The story also suffers after Mia gets possessed by the Deadite, because from there the rest of the movie is like something from the 'Saw' film franchise, except here it's demonically possessed people perpetrating gory, sadistic torments on their victims, and, sorry, that's not scary. It's violent, but not much else. And the movie's climactic scene pretty much imitates every Japanese horror film from the past 15 years. Even some Bruce Campbell inspired, Ash-esque chainsawing at the very end isn't enough to redeem this one from the Pits of Schlock.
I thought the film makers could've upped the psychological horror and the drama, by letting the Deadites play with Mia's mind (and the audience's) a bit more, tormenting her with ominous yet unverifiable 'hallucinations' while her four companions continued to insist she's just crazy and junk-sick. Instead, Mia glimpses the demon only once (which just looks like a woman wearing a bloodstained nightgown), and then, a minute later, she's running through the woods, falling down, and getting possessed by the demon and its evil tree-brethren.
With a little more effort, the writers could've written a cleverer, trickier story device to compel one of the characters to read from the Necronomicon. Instead, they just made one character sit down and ignore the DO NOT READ! EEEVIIIL! BEWAAAARE! messages scrawled on every freakkin' page, and lazily shoehorned the MacGuffin right into the plot.
The creators could've slightly restrained themselves and spent a little more time letting the characters display actual, you know, personalities. They could've thrown in a few more ominous atmospheric touches at the beginning, in order to get the other characters doubting themselves, and each other, and all the while Mia's character is becoming increasingly unstable. They could've used the creepy, wooded locale to good effect like the 1981 original did, but in the 2013 version, the forest is more or less out of the picture.
Unfortunately, they squandered these opportunities, and ultimately they squandered an opportunity to take a classic horror film, rework it, and up the ante a thousand-fold. Instead of supernatural thrills and chills and an atmosphere of genuine suspense, you get a lot of nail-guns, blood-puke and brutal beatings. Not that I mind the latter - it is a horror movie, after all.
But without the former to set the tone it's just very gory exploitation cinema, and it carries very little weight in the horror department.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2013
Movie was bad, so bad. There wasn't much of a plot. I actually demanded we turn the movie off because it was so bad. The movie wasn't scary but rather just a gore-fest. Bad, bad, bad. Terrible!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2013
Im a horror fan, a sam raimi fan, and an evil dead fan. That said, i wish i hadnt bought into all the hype around this so-so remake. Its just not very good: the acting, special effects, and plot are so weak im amazed that this is getting all the fanfare it is. Ill admit that there is a glut of low- budget horror crap out there and Evil Dead is better than most of it, but that doesnt mean its good. If i hadnt read or heard a thing about it beforehand, i probably would have enjoyed it more- but since i HAD been eagerly anticipating it and read up on it in advance- i was really let down. 6/10 at MOST