The Evil Dead – A Review

July 17, 2013 4:03 pm

The Evil Dead (2013) is a continuation and a reboot of the original series. Whilst it still has a few of the scenes from the memorable first film, the narrative is tweaked slightly. One of the slight differences is that one of the main characters, Mia (Jane Levy) is a druggie. Mia is the Sister of David (Shiloh Fernandez) whom has been absent in her life for some time. Mia and David, alongside their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and David’s girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) decide to take a trip to an old cabin in the woods in an attempt to help Mia get clean from her addiction that caused her Clinical Death before the events of the film.

The Evil Dead is directed by Fede Alvarez and is Alvarez’s first feature. Whilst Sam Raimi is producing, it is painfully clear that Raimi is not in the Director’s chair as the film just was not that scary. It was a real gore-fest; that much is certain. Nail guns, shovels to the face and limbs being blown or torn off. For those who like their films bloody and full of gore, then climb on board.

But there were no real scares that stood out as original. All the scare tactics felt dated and worn thin. There was one moment when a possessed Mia vomited blood (see what I mean about lots of blood?) on Olivia so she went to go and wash herself off in the mirror. In this scene, Olivia turns away from the mirror to get a towel and when she looks back her reflection is that of a possessed version of her.  It was predictable to the point where not even the slightest bit of ‘jumpiness’ occurred. One of the key ingredients to horror is a real vibe of tension throughout, which should be coupled with a great group of characters and a memorable antagonist. This leads to my next point.

At no point did any one character stand out as being exceptional, the acting was shaky and it was difficult to tell who was the ‘leader’ of the group, which is often common in horror films. The group dynamic needed to be more solid and the characters more compelling.

What did stand out in this film was the psychological and emotional manipulation that occurred throughout. One scene sees David’s girlfriend Natalie possessed and firing a nail gun and wielding a crowbar having already shot herself in the face with nails already. Lou and David fight back with David blasting her arms off with a shotgun. Just before her death she snaps out of her possession and whilst crying, asks David, “Why are you hurting me?” As she dies in her arms you sense the horror in David that all of his friends are being killed off one-by-one and how conflicted he is at having to stop his sister by any means necessary.

The final fifteen minutes of the film are a complete detour from the first hour and ten minutes. Without going into too much detail as to not spoil it, it is an epic showdown in a torrential rain of blood (again, lots of blood). Whilst the scare tactics here aren’t original either, they are used well enough to keep you on the edge of your seat until the spectacular and gory finale. In the end, it felt like this reboot needed a bigger kick to make it more original and relevant. Fans of the franchise may be enticed to watch this. But for someone who is not invested in the Evil Dead series, this may feel like a weak horror film for 2013.

%d bloggers like this: