Review: Evil Dead

Poster for 2013 horror film Evil Dead

Genre: Horror
Certificate: 18
UK Release Date: 18th April 2013
Runtime: 91 minutes
Director: Fede Alvarez
Writer: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci
Synopsis: When a heroin addict is taken to a cabin in the woods in order to go cold turkey, her friends unwittingly release something horrible that is lurking within the trees.

 

Fans of 80s horror will no doubt recall with fondness Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. The first film especially troubled the censors, but audiences were delighted by the franchise’s unique blend of terrifying horror and side-hurting comedy. So, in the current wave of Hollywood remakes, it was almost inevitable that Evil Dead would get another go around.

Fortunately, at the helm of the Evil Dead remake is Fede Alvarez – a first-time feature director hand-picked for the job by Sam Raimi himself. This support, both from Raimi and original star Bruce Campbell, shines through in the movie as a clear reverence and love for the source material. Alvarez has an ethos very similar to Raimi’s – horror cinema shouldn’t be a set of clichés; it should be utterly terrifying and also a whole lot of fun.

After last year’s wondrous horror spoof The Cabin in the Woods, any horror flick that relies upon that premise has a mountain to climb. Fortunately, when Mia (a strong break-out performance from Jane Levy) is taken to a secluded cabin by her friends for cold turkey addiction treatment, originality springs free from its cage.

Whilst there are a number of hat tips to the original series (hand dismemberment, a very recognisable car, tree rape and a chained-up cellar hatch), Fede Alvarez has made this Evil Dead movie into a different beast to Sam Raimi’s. It goes for horror far more than Raimi ever did and, whilst it never quite reaches the scares of the first film, it does have some solid jumps and creepy moments.

But where the Evil Dead of 2013 truly triumphs is in its creative gore. Relying predominantly on practical effects, the film ascends above the dreary torture porn craze with some inventive and horrifying bursts of violence. The green, grungy hue of the film is regularly stained red with the blood of its characters and any connoisseur of extreme horror cinema will enjoy the extent to which Evil Dead is willing to go.

Most of all, the Evil Dead remake is an awful lot of fun. It’s not that scary, nor as funny as an Evil Dead movie should be, but that doesn’t matter when it’s a crazy, squirm-inducing good time.

And if you’re a fan, stick around until the very end of the credits. It’s worth it.

8/10

Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.

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