120 of 138 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!
15 of 18 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
125 of 168 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 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2015
A good friend recommended this film to me while it was in theaters and I've liked scary movies for a long time, ever since Scream actually. He told me it was a blood bath and he wasn't far off! Up until seeing this one, I hadn't seen the first two, but had seen Army of Darkness, which took campy horror to a cheesy level for me. Now, I'm not dissing Sam Raimi, or at least trying not to, but this remake tosses out most of the campiness from those, and goes more for the gore and violence, and the main story line has been updated to include a recovering drug addict. Another remake that almost works on its own , although the motto "if it's not broke, don't fix it" some remakes fit that, while some, or several for me, work, if taken on their own merits, every time I see one I try to do that, although certain ones, even I haven't liked, the new Amityville, the new Prom Night-no ghostly overtones in that one, and a select few others, very few, most non-horror remakes seem decent, at best, modernized or not, even for me, but rarely great. Whether you've seen the original E D or not, this one may make you want to or even re-view it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
okay, we have seen the original 1981 movie with bruce campbell directed by sam raimi. that was more than 30 years ago. with the new "evil dead" by fede alvarez, i also had reservations on how it would turn out, but at the same time thee was also anticipation and excitement - after all this is evil dead, and bruce campbell and sam raimi produced it.
the premise is the same (since it's a remake). i agree that the acting was better but there were also loopholes in the presentation of the new characters. as a gorehound, i was expecting it would be as evil as the original. in 1981, sam raimi et al impaled a head, gorged eyes, raped with trees, splattered brains, chewed on a hand, and most of all, chopped a woman with an ax in loving details... now to expect that in the new evil dead would make me ... lucky! especially with today's rating.
the new evil dead still made me cringe, but i thought maybe i expected too much. i have all the original trilogy, but i would sure add the new evil dead in my collection. despite being a remake, it has its own merits. it is also a good movie that could stand on its own!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2015
The movie is fun, gory and scary as hell. It keeps the original in mind with subtle (and some not so subtle) nods to it, but brings this franchise to a new generation. The complaint I have is the case that it came in. Instead of being the standard case that nearly all blu-rays come in, this is a lower quality case that really annoys me. There is extra plastic sticking around on it, the edges are rough instead of smooth, and there is a latch in the finger hole for absolutely no reason. It may seem weird to take off two stars for the case of a movie, but this is honestly a blemish in my blu-ray collection that really pisses me off.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2013
A few observations from an old fan who saw ED back in its heyday...
The upshot: horror aficionados are in for one of the most ridiculously bloody movies I can recall in recent yrs, and from what I gather, it's all practical, on-camera FX, and no CGI. So on that basis alone, it deserves a lot of credit.
Given the degree of grue in ED, it would've been interesting to be privy to the behind-the-scenes politics involved in the unaccountable-to-the-public, right-wing MPAA to issue ED an "R" rating when this would have easily scored an "X" decades back, or an "NC17" not so long ago.
The cast: no one was annoying, and it was fun seeing the Thumbsucker kid as the hippie teacher! ha (I hadn't seen him in anything since). Really, though, most horror movies nowadays, just like the 1980's, have absurdly unrealistic, interchangeable Young People that mostly seem like they're fresh from a Mentos TV commercial. They're not so unbelievable here, even if the audience is, of course, never really given any reason to root for anybody.
The absence of an Ash: ha, really, did anyone for a second figure they *wouldn't* use a woman instead? Come on...you need to brush up on Remakes 101
The ED remake is basically like most new movies these days in that even though it looks really good, many other aspects fall flat. The older I get the more inclined I am to lend credence to the concept of movies basically being a One Generation art form i.e. every worthwhile tale has already been told for the umpteenth time over, with diminished return from that point on. It needn't be that way, but the business model being what it is...
A few gripes:
Moviegoers recently saw a widely publicized, washed out looking horror movie poster with a girl wearing a dress and boots in The Last Exorcism. So, sorry to say I thought this promo poster was a lame-o. I haven't a clue as to how their marketing people didn't see such an obvious, recent comparison. Anyway...
The homage bits to various details of Raimi's original ED are plentiful, albeit scattershot, often appearing willy-nilly and out of context from how/why they appeared in Raimi's film. Fun stuff to pick out, though.
The attempt at establishing exposition at the story's onset felt wholly unnecessary, as if they merely wanted to (1) give the audience a gore blast right from the get-go. And (2), create a different opening from Raimi's film. In my view it would've been more effective to re-create the long drive down the grown-over path leading to the cabin to help create that sense of foreboding present throughout the org ED. The way it's done now reveals the possessed look, and sound, of the characters right away, lessening the shock value once the horror/possessions start getting poured on like motor oil.
The whole Book of The Dead theme has taken on an overtly Satanic framework, replete with Baphomet's, and numerous other common/familiar pentagrams and deviltry images that will likely make viewers think of European black metal bands instead of an archaic, ancient tome of esoteric incantations.
There's no shortage of the oft relied upon, Trying-To-Have-It-All-Ways-Simultaneously formula, employed ad nauseum about three-quarters of the way through. And the ending didn't work at all for me. It's anyone's guess as to why the film's makers decided to completely abandon Raimi's org ending, which left such an indelible mood of doomed-out horror upon viewers.
Another complaint is the dialogue written for the possessed. While it may have been campy at times in the org, here it's just flat-out ineffective. Aside from the recurring "I'll swallow your soul," the whole "why did you disturb our sleep...?" bit is gone, as is the infamous childlike, sing-song taunting, "we're gonna get you, we're gonna get you," which is odd given that it plays prominently in the new trailer.
While it may sound like this is a negative leaning review, I actually would recommend this remake, especially to long time fans of the series. It's not without its high points, even if much of it feels predictable for those of us who've been around the block a few times. Say what you will regarding comparisons, it doesn't change the fact that ED 2013 is definitely a dose of genuine horror.
The problem is, the org ED, like countless other pop culture examples, stood out and made such a lasting impact in its own time/era for a host of reasons that simply cannot be duplicated for what should be obvious reasons. Trying to go back and somehow recapture the uncapturable doesn't yields the same results.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
It's an adequate horror film, nothing amazing, but not really bad either. In all honesty if I had never seen the original films, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and Army of Darkness I may have actually enjoyed this quite a bit more. The use of practical effects is by far my favorite part of this movie. The whole using the detox plot line as a way to keep the characters in the cabin isn't as clever or believable as I think the writers may have believed. As soon as you see a cellar full of hanging cats, and a book bound in flesh the smart move is to get out as soon as possible, who knows when the perpetrators of such craziness may return. The original film actually does it in a way that makes a lot more sense, they get there to the cabin and once the demonic faux Latin is spoken, crap goes insane and south too fast to escape. This slower build actually makes the choices in the film seem more cliche and ridiculous. A lot of the camera is directly lifted from the original films but done now with a modern sleekness. This isn't a benefit in my opinion, it's not only a case of seen it before, but a case of seen it before done with a rawness and energy that made it much more effective. And in the final "boss fight" you're subjected to over the top generic ominous Latin choral music which took me way out of it. Then the music is reprised in the final credits which makes the film feel as though it takes itself way too seriously and this kind of film I feel shouldn't really do that, although I may feel that way strictly due to the original Evil Dead ending to Ragtime music of all things. All that is to say, I can't help but compare it to the original but if you've never seen Evil Dead '81 or you can separate this film from it better than myself, it's a good chance you'll enjoy it a lot more than I did.