October is here so it is time to roll out the gore. Fede Alvarez’s 2013 remake of Sam Raimi’s cult classic “The Evil Dead” does just that.
The story is basic; group of friends staying in a cabin, one ingenious young man reads an evil book, (aloud, of course, you always read evil incantations aloud) and then demons come out and everything goes south in a hurry.
A new element that Alvarez added was the idea of Mia, girl-turned-demon, as being a recovering drug addict, and the cabin stay as an intervention. Mia’s friends and brother write off her behavior at first, assuming her increasing oddness is just another symptom of withdrawal.
Then Mia attacks her friends with a gun, and everyone realizes something is very, very wrong.
The gore is phenomenal, the special effects superb. Viewers will cringe in horror as blood is spilled in gallons, tongues are cut, arms detached, and a blonde goes nuts with a nailgun.
The musical score sets the mood nicely, with eerie music blaring as ominous shots of a darkening cabin appear. However, sometimes the music is a bit overwhelming, so much so that the music itself is more noticeable than the on-screen carnage.
Actress Jane Levy, (Mia) does a grand job portraying both an addict in withdrawal, and as a possessed woman. Her voice and facial expressions are convincing and chilling. She truly carries the show, as the other actors are rather stiff and forced.
But it’s a remake.
That is the one stigma that ruins Evil Dead for a lot of people. It does not have the same campy feel, the same black humor, nor the shock factor the original carried. While Evil Dead does pay homage to Sam Raimi’s classic, it falls short in creating the same atmosphere. Raimi’s version felt like you were seeing something terrible that you were never supposed to see, whereas Alvarez’s seems more like an oozing spectacle, boosted with tons of special effects.
The film is enjoyable and grisly, sure to make the girlfriend cringe, and worth a rental, but do not buy the special edition.