It seems as if every horror remake in the past ten years have been complete garbage. Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, House of Wax and plenty more we can continue drooling over. In this remake/reboot of the Evil Dead series, Raimi produces instead of directing and allows newcomer Fede Alvarez to helm the project. A filmmaker that’s yet to prove his wits in the business, aside from a three minute short that propelled his career.
The film starts off with loud bang as there’s the execution of a poor female deadite (a possessed human). As we’re drawn to the end of that gory scene which provides no explanation or backstory to the series, we’re thrown into meeting five new characters, the lead being Mia, who is played by the shining star of the film, Jane Levy. The friends head to a remote cabin in the woods and decide to isolate themselves from the outside world for a few days while Mia fights her struggling drug addiction. Her brother David, played by Shiloh Fernandez, gives a weak and dull performance as he sluggishly plays the leader of the group for most of the movie. They stumble upon dead cats strung from the ceiling of basement and a book, wrapped in a garbage bag with wires. Eric (Lou
Taylor Pucci) advances the story with curiosity by opening the darn thing when nobody’s looking and reading the evil curse aloud to himself, which is where the real fun begins.
Mia begins suffering from withdrawal and drives off into the woods where she crashes her car and is ultimately possessed by a demon. Her friends eventually find her and take her back which is where we first witness the sight of the true deadite. Although the characters make very stupid decisions, had they not, the film would probably not advance any further than past the first thirty minutes.
The thing about this Evil Dead remake is the fact that it isn’t very scary. At least not as terrifying as Sony’s marketing team are leading movie-goers to believe. The tagline reads “The Most Terrifying Movie You’ll Ever Experience,” but there’s nothing scary about it, other than the fact that it’s pretty much torture porn, which isn’t all that bad.
The film has a lot of gore, most of it which had the entire desensitized audience looking away throughout and it all seemed pretty realistic from the initial possession scene to the chainsaw blow-job. Alvarez and crew decided to use only minimal CGI and go the practical route, which pays off handsomely. While most of the performances remain weak, this $17 million dollar TriStar Pictures production hits all the right notes somehow fusing a completely redone plot from the original The Evil Dead and mixing elements from The Evil Dead II. The remake certainly has its comedic moments and while lacking in scare, it’s completely made up with ambition and drive of the genre. This is exactly what Sam Raimi intended to do back in 1981.