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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!
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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
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on August 1, 2015
I'm a firm believer that a movie doesn't have to be 'explicitly gory' to be scary or good, or both. I could fill this comment box with quite a few very good, scary movies that had little or no gore at all!

Alternatively, I don't have enough room to list all the flops out there, which contained massive overdoses of gore, yet essentially, could put an audience to sleep. That is, if it wasn't for the completely unnecessary and sudden orchestral volume amplification, (x the power of10), in predictable, 15 to 30 second intervals.

On the other hand, providing there's a point to the explicit gore, it can be a very important addition. A movie like “Fury" with Brad Pitt, (who did an amazing job and of course the tremendous acting of the supporting cast of co-stars), is an example.

Therefore, Evil Dead surprised me. In a way, the gore of the movie was necessary to get across the twisted evil world of the demon that only needed 5 souls in order to be freed upon the world.

Like “Fury” needed to convince the audience that the tank crew saw THE apocalypse, the soldiers in that tank, and the kids in that cabin, were both dealing with a situation that consumed them and even if they got out alive, they’d likely be certified sociopaths with a bird nest of psychological problems and no hope of returning to sanity.

That’s about as close as I could relate the two films. Make no mistake, Fury is a serious piece of work and I think it may have even been nominated and/or won a number of recognition awards. If you have to choose seeing one or the other, there’s no doubt that Fury would be the one to grab. However, I realize that I’m trying to compare apples and basketballs.

With Evil Dead, I was surprised that the actors were as incredible as they were, with the exception of one, (the brother of the heroin-addicted girl). In fact, his acting was more what I was expecting from this kind of movie and very consistent with the genre of B-rated, gory, horror films.

I’ve seen this actor in other horror films and though I can’t remember his name, I don’t believe he’s ever done anything other than ‘those kind of films'. It was strange that he was in the “Evil Dead” film because I don’t consider it a “B-rated” movie.

He seemed to miss almost every opportunity he had to give a realistic response to the horrible situations that were increasing in severity by the quarter hour, (I mean of the story's time line, not the movie's actual time). Yes, he was supposed to be ‘in denial’ but seriously, you can be ‘in denial’ for just so long and even then, that doesn’t mean you won’t be extremely frightened with the situation regardless of what you may think is behind it.

The movie started of great and the storyline worked through its predictable steps. There nothing wrong with a predictable path but of course, when you have five, 19 to 23 year old kids in an old cabin containing an ancient, evil demon, (until one of them lets it out), you can expect them all to make stupid decisions… "It’s what they do"...

The film was definitely scary and had me yelling at the screen for the dumb kid who’s going in the cellar... alone, or the one who, after finally getting through this obstacle course of evil, escorts the girl to the car only to stop and say; “Oh, I forgot my keys inside on the table. Wait here, (alone), I’ll be right back”…

Yes, you know he won't be 'right back' and it's a crap shoot as to which of them will be the one to regret that decision first! That’s always a scene that you can see coming a mile away. So why isn’t it a “B-rated” horror flick? Because the special effects were first class, top-drawer, applications, that’s why!

The film has an awful, if not “traditionally optimistic”, ending and that was disappointing. Of course, I should have guessed it would, when I watched the 'ultimate world-demon' having trouble getting through a barn wall made of some old, rotten planks. He was ineptly chasing the 120 lb. 'victim to be' who had broke through that same aforementioned 'barn wall' with a few elbow strikes moments earlier... (hmmm).

However, Evil Dead did impress me with the acting and effects. It made me jump a number of times and I guess that’s what we’re looking for in a ‘scary movie’ that happened to be gory as well. I couldn’t pick the 3.5 stars as a rating or I would have, and I think it deserved more than 3 stars, so 4 stars it is.
FWIW,
Rich
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on February 8, 2015
I am a total fan boy of the original Evil Dead trilogy that I was glad to see they went a different direction. I knew that it had to be good because both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell were producers on the film. They did none of the campy fun from the original and went full blown horror. The young actors all did a great job and it leaves a resonating creepiness with you. When I saw this in the theatre there was a young woman behind us crying.
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on April 23, 2015
I was VERY leery when I heard they were doing a remake, but this movie scared the crud out of me. There was definitely some fun, unique new stuff in here, while keeping the flavor of the original classic!
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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!
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on October 30, 2014
I was never really impressed by the trailer for this movie so I hadn't watched it til now. And after watching cabin in the woods I was even more leery of it. But I'm glad I did. I was looking for a good scary movie for Halloween and I found it. This movie is awesome and it has very good actors in it. The movie is so much more more brutal than I thought it would be and it has a creepiness to it as well. Shiloh Fernandez and Jane Levy are great. Jane Levy's role was awesome and she was very believable. Whoever hasn't watched it yet needs to give it a chance. You may love it
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on January 6, 2015
I've not seen the original Evil Dead, but this Evil Dead certainly gave me some insight. This movies plot-line isn't the greatest, that's for sure, but it sure is the biggest uncensored gore-fest I have ever witnessed, and will certainly churn even the strongest of stomachs at times. This is definitely a good watch for any horror movie fanatic.
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on January 5, 2015
About what i expected, but I really wanted to kick that blonde hippy in the A($* - completely stupid - he's supposed to be smart, yet he reads aloud from the book,, invoking the demon. He is one of the more unsympathetic characters in the film. You'd expect him to be supportive of his friend trying to go cold turkey off of drugs (not a good thing to do in a remote cabin away from medical care even w/o the demons!) yet he basically writes her off and says it won't work from the start, then dishes it out to the older brother, who happened to have gotten a job and moved to a different city - and he is actually angry and claims that means he isn't there for them anymore? When did getting a life and a job and moving on in your life become a bad thing? Oh, yeah, when you're a slacker hippy, that's right! I wish he'd been the first to get offed, but, alas, I had to verbally malign his acting for about 80 percent of the movie.
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on January 20, 2015
This is a good horror movie and Sam Raimi has definitely left his mark on this one. While it is in the spirit of the original Evil Dead, it has also picked up a lot of the traits of the modern day horror genre. The most being the idea that gross and fear are the same thing; they are not, gross makes you turn away from the screen, fear makes it impossible to turn away. This movie has a more gross than fear
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