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116 of 135 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!
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10 of 12 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
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123 of 167 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2013
This film kind of reminds me of the Resident Evil films (the live action ones, not the CGI ones). By that I mean, if they just avoided the title, it likely would have gone better. The second you slap a legendary name with such a following as "Evil Dead" on a film, you set the bar so high that most, if not all, hopes of getting out from under that huge shadow are gone. Most folks cannot get around that hurdle.

Name aside, the film isn't horrible. Simple plot, characters developed just enough to explain their skill sets and why they are there. Gore and death scenes are decent, though a bit excessive (not a bad thing in such a film). Sprinkle the usual stupid acts of horror movie characters, like "whats that sound? I'll check by myself" and you got enough to carry 90 minutes.

The ending was anti-climatic. All that build up, all that work and boom, the fight is over in a blink with a underwhelming death sequence. The observant viewer might notice the cameo by the big man, Bruce, at the end of the credits, which was a nice chuckle moment for me.

Rent, Netflix, but only buy if you really into Horror.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 27, 2013
** spoilers **

Mia is a heroin addict dealing with the aftermath of her mother's death. She goes to an old cabin her family owns with her friends and her brother to get her through withdrawal and get clean, but the place has been broken into and defaced. They clean up as best they can and find a weird book wrapped in a trash bag and barbed wire. Eric decides to disregard every single warning, open it, and read it out loud. Of course it releases demons that possess them to torment and eventually kill them. Can they band together to defeat the evil or will all their souls burn in hell?

I usually hate remakes with the fire of a thousand suns. The filmmakers usually dumb down what made the film great in the first place. I actually enjoyed Evil Dead much more than the original. I understand why the original is so well liked, but it's so boring and badly acted. The remake breathes new life into the story, giving a well fleshed out plot and characters with actual personalities and relationships. The relationships are what kept them there in the cabin even after dead cats and evil books are discovered when any sane person would have left. They all want Mia to get clean and want to stay at any cost because her life is at risk if she stays on drugs. The sibling relationship comes into play when David can easily end the whole thing by simply killing Mia. He opts to kill her and then bring her back, risking and eventually sacrificing his own life so she can live. It also makes it all the more meaningful when the demon chooses to appear as whoever they are possessing, in pain and bewildered at their mutilations, to manipulate their loved ones.

Evil Dead is a fun, scary film. There are a few jump scares at the beginning to set the mood, but the real suspense is built later. One of my favorite scenes is where Olivia is possessed and mutilating herself behind a shower curtain. You know exactly what she's doing, but as Eric draws nearer and nearer, you dread actually seeing it and being confronted by the Deadite. The humor isn't the same as the previous films. It's dark and not as overt, but it still had a me laughing out loud quite a few times. I also love this scene because at the midnight showing I went to, the guy next to me said it was the grossest thing he'd ever seen. I liked that the infamous tree rape scene was kept, but made into something actually horrifying and disgusting. The original scene is downright comical and the new one is extremely uncomfortable to watch. Possession is basically a type of rape where an entity enters the body and controls it against the person's will.

The film is an allegory for addiction. Mia and her friends come together for her to conquer her addiction. At first, they force her to stay when she clearly can't handle the withdrawals. Then she is possessed after being raped by her evil doppelganger and turns unrecognizable. Addiction causes people to turn into monsters and hurt the people around them. The possession in the film is communicable and is passed through bites, vomit, and injuries. It shows how toxic addiction can be to loved ones. After her brother kills and revives her, she is left alone to confront her evil doppelganger. Mia is the only one that can conquer her addiction. Her friends and family can do as much as they can, but it won't do any good if Mia isn't willing to change and really work to get better.

Evil Dead is a blast to watch. I love the mixture of dark humor, gross gore, and suspense. The only scene I thought was too over the top was when it started raining blood. After a while, everything is oversaturated with it and it ceases to mean anything. Other than that, it was an enjoyable, well balanced film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2013
This was just okay for me, it was a lame attempt at scary but failed miserably. I thought it was going to be way better than it was and I was not disappointed because it lived up to my thoughts. If you are looking for scary this in my opinion will not get it. It was just gory and bloody but not scary. I know that this was a remake but it was a failed attempt at scary and true horror movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
During the 1980's the pop culture ran film after film of Jason and Freddie. Real horror fans quietly turned "Evil Dead" into a cult classic with collectors DVDs selling up to $100.00.

The remake has high standards to meet for devoted fans. Some fans claim it is not a remake, but if you use the same name and have many of the same scenes, it's a duck.

1) The book has to be convincing. They did fine here.
2) The forest rape scene was a signature scene. This film didn't improve on it. One would expect with all the CG effects available, this would have been far better. It was worse. In fact there was a complete lack of special effects I was hoping for.
3) Bruce Campbell and a chainsaw. They didn't even come close. Jessica Lucas? Shiloh Fernandez? Please. They needed a name actor to take that role and write it with some personality. They didn't.
4) There was also a high amount of camp value to the original film series. This one eliminates all the humor. Seriously, where is the hand running around giving people the finger as in the ED 2? I think the whole movie gave the viewers the finger.

If you have seen the original, you can wait to watch this as a rental. This won't make my collection as did the faux skin covered DVD. Having trashed this film, I will say if you haven't seen the original and know nothing about "Evil Dead" you might find that you will like this blood fest. My recommendation is to watch the original and "leave this book alone".

Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex. Sketch nudity in book, mud nudity?
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
I'm a huge scary movie fan, so when I saw the trailer for this movie & heard all the hype, I was so excited. My dad & I (both being scary movie fans) went. He had seen the original, I hadn't, but we both agreed that this one was awful. Over the top gore, terrible plot, & an absurd ending made this movie one of the worst I've ever seen. So disgusting that I almost threw up in the theater, & I can sit through all 7 Saw movies with no problem. SAVE YOUR MONEY!
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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??"
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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.
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