Review: EVIL DEAD (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Review: EVIL DEAD (2013)

Wow, I feel good... (followed by music)
A horror fan's wet dream in term of its graphic violence and excessive gore display, but EVIL DEAD suffers from weak script and mostly forgettable characters.
 

Okay, if you ask any die-hard horror fans out there, you can bet your answer that the 1983's THE EVIL DEAD was one of the holy grail of all horror genres ever made. So naturally, when the filmmakers first announced the remake was greenlit, (everybody) are skeptical about the result. But before you cried blasphemy, Fede Alvarez's EVIL DEAD remake is surprisingly effective horror movie that will pleased (most) of the original fans as well as newcomers.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

Like the 1983 original, the setup is mostly the same except with a couple of tweaks -- instead of a lead character of Ash (previously played by Bruce Campbell), this remake is replaced by a female lead in the form of Mia (Jane Levy). One additional element here is the portrayal of Mia as a drug addict trying to overcome her excessive heroin habit while living in a backwoods cabin alongside with her estranged brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas), and David's girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), for the weekend. When a mysterious book is discovered in the basement, Eric made a mistake of reading aloud an ancient phrase that immediately awakens evil demon somewhere in the forest. Not long after, Mia's body ends up being possessed by the demon and all hell breaks loose.

THE GOOD STUFF
 
First-time feature director Fede Alvarez knows well that a great horror movie doesn't rely on extensive CGI when comes to gore and violence. So what you get here instead is a great deal of practical special and make-up effects that guarantees to make you twitchy or shocked in either ways. Nevertheless all the technical credits are top-notch. As a lead character Mia, Jane Levy delivers an engaging performance worthy of mention here.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)
  
There are plenty of outstanding gory sequences here, but I must say the all-breaks-loose-finale where the bloodied Mia finishes off her demonic doppelganger with a chainsaw is pure nasty stuff.

THE BAD STUFF
  
Despite its added "Mia-has-to-overcome-her-heroin habit" angle, it's a shame that the plot doesn't scratch beyond its surface once the real horror kicks in. Apart from Mia, the rest of the supporting actors are mostly caricatures while Alvarez's choice to play his remake all dead serious rather than the uniquely campy tone set originally by Sam Raimi, is sometimes too depressing for its own good.

FINAL WORDS

According to this book, supporting characters in a horror movie always end up dead.

The new EVIL DEAD may not have lived up to Sam Raimi's iconic original as well as his 1987 sequel, but at least this is one of the rare horror remakes that doesn't feel like an overrated, cheap knockoff.


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