Evil Dead: Review

Rarely does a highly-anticipated (and hyped) movie actually deliver the goods. Evil Dead is that movie. It's easily the goriest mainstream film I've seen in...  EVER. Seriously, the unrelenting mayhem took me by surprise (including the most squirm inducing tongue moment revealed in the trailer). It was brutal with almost non-stop intensity, and while the vicious tone is set early on, the film never looses its sense of fun. It's not that downbeat, dreary, bleak tone that so many remakes consider necessary. This one is for serious, hardcore horror fans who want to have a great time.

The plot stays true to the original film and overlays a plausible story on top. Why would any one stay in this cabin? To help a friend detox in a no-escape sort of way. Jane Levy (known mostly for the TV show Suburgatory and last year's underrated Fun Size) plays the junkie here and she is truly a revelation. A new scream queen is born (should she choose to accept the title)! I truly felt her fear in a raw, palpable way and she easily carries the film's most dramatic moments.

First-time director Fede Alvarez keeps the pace mostly taut and pays homage to many of producer Sam Raimi's original camerawork (the swooshing through the trees, the incredibly odd angles). Yes, his script could have used some character polish (Diablo Cody has a co-writing credit but I didn't hear any of her trademark humorous banter), and there was one single but significant misstep that almost sunk the ending altogether. But we persevere and enjoy the hand we're dealt. Or not.

If the Evil Dead finds an audience and profits with its hard R-rating, the future of mainstream horror might be promising. The studios who unanimously pander to the PG-13 crowd might finally recognize that there is an adult audience who also loves horror films.

Blood red poster
Original poster
Teaser logo with hand

Major Trauma #1: The woods
Major Trauma #2: De-jawing
Major Trauma #3: Tongue splitting