April 14, 2013

Evil Dead (2013)

(aka Worst Rehab Idea Ever)
Release Date: In Theaters now.
Country: USA.
Written by:  Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues.
Directed by: Fede Alvarez.
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore... but no Fake Shemps!

*Sam and Bruce produce this one.

It's fair to say that we have been dreading this movie since it was first announced, and as fellow Horror fans, you know exactly why; because how can you remake The Evil frigging Dead?!?

The original wasn't some perfect moment in film that no one could ever hope to top or anything, but in many ways it was perfect for its time, and over the years it became a benchmark in Horror Cinema, for many a reason.

Also, hearing the name Devil Coby attached to any project makes us, like, Cringa-a-Saurus Wrecks to the max, home-skillet.

Fuck, that woman's dialogue is anger-inducing...

So anywho, we hated the idea of this movie. We still do, in some "Hey Hollywood, stop fucking with our childhood!" sort of way, but having seen it, we have to say that while it lacked the kitsch of the original, it really didn't suck. In fact, we enjoyed it quite a lot.

I know, shocking, right?

Mia is a junkie whore (a Demon said so, don't blame us) whose friends have brought her to a remote cabin in the woods to detox, because that's the best way to kick a raging drug habit, right? I mean one of them is a nurse, and she says that this plan of theirs will work as well as any old clinical rehab program would, so who are we to argue?

Looks like it's working well, so far.
While investigating some foul smells that seem to be coming from the cabin's cellar, the friends find a crazy looking book that is bound in barbed wire... and of course the hippie of the group just has to snip that wire and see what's inside. For the uninitiated amongst us, what's inside is The Necronomicon Ex-Mortis Naturum Demonto, aka the Book of the Dead. Naturally, he reads aloud some words from the book, and the Demonic free-for-all begins!

That nurse really commits to the whole "Radical Rehab" thing, doesn't she?
Mia tries to get the hell out of there, but instead only end sup getting raped by a tree. Her brother throws her in the car and makes haste for the nearest Hospital, only to find that the escape bridge is washed-out, and they're all trapped on the wrong side of things. Back at the cabin, the remaining friends discover that there's a Demon called The Abomination who needs only devour five living souls to emerge into the world of the living. Coincidentally, there's five of them, and it quickly becomes apparent that they're all screwed. So yeah, he's coming for them.

"Hey, this river wasn't here before!"
Murdered dogs, mouth to mouth vomiting, implied Demonic lesbianism, and a bunch of subtle nods to the films progenitor ensue. I mean, this is an "Evil Dead" movie, so you kinda know what's in store for you, right? Don't go into this one expecting much in the way of laughter though, because there's really nothing even mildly humorous going on in this movie. At all.

I was waiting for the opening chords to Slayer's "Raining Blood" to start playing, but alas, they never did...
Evil Dead was a pretty fun movie. There, I said it. I know, some people are going to say "I can't believe you liked this POS... original movie... no Ash... classic... aaaahhhh!" but it was really fun. What should I do, lie about it?

Fede Alvarez lost most of the humor of the original and went a darker route with his remake, and for the most part, it worked pretty well. There's no way that anyone is improving on the magic that made Raimi's Evil Dead such a beloved Horror staple, so really, what else was there to do but to go the dark route with the remake? Blood and creepy shit; that's really all that's left, and this movie delivers both in quantity.

Jane Levy was great as Mia, and I'd be totally fine with seeing her story continue in a sequel. She's so adorable that it's almost a twisted pleasure to see her in such a bloody, brutal role. Shiloh Fernadez is a great actor, but his character didn't really do much in this aside from whine and have a look of constant brooding on his face, so he didn't get to "stretch his legs" very much here. At least Lou Taylor Pucci's character had some good scenes to play with, and he was aces in them. Not the tightest script ever, but the cast did a good job with what they had.

She's gonna do nothing but get bigger and better.
Some of the dialogue felt off to us. Most of it worked well, but there were times that it just didn't feel like it fit. For example, a Deadite calling a character a "junkie whore!" or saying "your sister's soul is being raped in hell!" feel cartoonish to us, and not at all like something an ancient, pissed-off Demon would say. For those of you wondering, Devil Corby's imprint on the script is barely noticeable in this one, but I have to wonder if some of the "you dirty little cunt!"-like lines were her doing.

"You mad, bro?"
I'm starting to become more and more annoyed by all of the blind hate heaped upon remakes.

I'm no fan of Hollywood remaking everything that they can get their hands on, but that's a whole other discussion for a different time. For now, right here, I'm talking about people that hate on the average remake for no other reason than the fact that it's a remake.

1981's The Evil Dead is no cinematic masterpiece; it's one of my all-time faves, it's a classic, and it definitely helped define the future of the Horror Genre when it was released, but if you're being honest about it, it was a shoddy little flick at best. Now, Raimi made it work despite its problems, because the guy has his own particular brand of flavor that makes his movies enjoyable and unique, even if they shouldn't be.

The original ED wasn't a true Black Comedy like its sequels, it didn't have a deep back story or plot to rely on, and its characters weren't all that deep and well realized either... and yet the blind haters out there would have you believe otherwise. The Evil Dead was an exploitation flick where blood and gore were the stars, and lucky for us, it had a director at its helm who gave his film just enough originality to keep it from being totally dismissible. Also, it had Bruce Campbell, which helped a lot, although to be fair about it, he wasn't truly in full "Ash Mode" until Evil Dead 2.

That's a lot of blood.
The point of this remake is exactly the same as was the point of the original; to execute on a cool concept using a liberal amount of visceral storytelling. Was the remake as good as, or worse than the original? Did it shit all over the ED legacy? Did the remake succeed in its core mission? All of that's up to you to decide. All I'm saying is that 32 years have passed since the original's creation, and in that time, movie audiences and their tastes have changed. A remake can't be, for the most part, what the original was. It's nearly impossible. 

You wanna hate it because it sucks? That's cool. You wanna pick it apart and hate it because it lacks whatever it needed to have to win you over? Even better. Just have some sort of solid reason to hate it. People need to stop with hating something just because it exists. Our knee-jerk reaction at first was to do exactly that, but we knew a time would come when we'd have to actually judge this movie for what it was, and not for what we feared it would (or wouldn't) be.

The people out there (and there are a large amount of them) who say "This was the worst movie I've ever seen!" really need to see more movies. This one wasn't even close to being that. Not in the slightest.

Win or fail, this movie tried its ass off.
Have no fear, my friends, if there's one thing that this remake delivers on, it's the gore. You've seen a lot of the good bits in the trailers and clips that have been released thus far, but those really only hint at the messy mayhem that awaits you in this film. Blood sprays all over the place, a nail-gun is used to maximum effect, body parts are sliced, cut, hacked, and pulled off, and let's not forget the chainsaw... Our favorite gag was the one at the end that involved a chainsaw and a head... that was a thing of true beauty to behold. Also, it rained blood. Literally.

The "My tampon isn't working anymore!" scene.
Aside from the seminal "tree-rape scene," there's not much else going on in this movie that veers towards the sexual side of things, and really, we're fine with that.

Still, Jane Levy is all for dudes grabbing her boobs, so why not throw a little of that in this movie, eh? Eh? Eh.
Love it or hate it, Evil Dead came and devoured the Box Office to the tune of nearly $42 million in its first two weeks. For a Horror flick, that's really good business. If you want to hate it, that's fine, you definitely have that right... just don't hate it blindly because it's a remake of a classic flick that you love. That's not fair to Fede and his crew here, because they managed to give us an entertaining (if flawed) Horror flick.

Evil Dead gets more right than it does wrong, and while there's something inside of us that makes us sad to see an Evil Dead flick with no Ash in it, that longing goes away once this movie gets going. It's bloody, clever, and creepy at times, and it's a more than adequate addition to the Evil Dead universe.

We have a feeling that this one will grow on us even more with repeat viewings, but until then, she gets a B, which in our eyes is more than a fair grade.


Evil Dead is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


Mmm, the girls of the Evil Dead remake... not an ugly one in the entire bunch. Then again, what kind of Horror flicks these days don't have cute chicks in them, right?


  1. Nice review. It’s not terrible, it’s just very boring in the way that it doesn’t seem to do anything new, cool, or improved with it’s ideas or premise.

  2. As you, guys, I've been expecting and dreading the release of this film all at the same time. I wasn't even sure I wanted to watch it, exactly for the reason of avoiding the hate for something that remakes a classic. I've also carefully read your review in order to reach a decision, paying attention to the details of your description and attempting to get to a resolution. And so, after careful deliberation, I've decided to watch a movie that stars that redhead.

  3. I really enjoyed this movie and I'm glad to see that you all liked it too!

    After I saw it, I kind of feel like it's more of a continuation of the franchise than a complete remake, especially since it seems Raimi has plans for three more movies in the series.

  4. it freaked me out that i have to sleep with extra night lights becuz of those demonick faces that were peering up at you..

    it's not so much a remake as a newer version of the story, taking place 30 yrs after the original..

    and plus Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell as producers who fully endorsed this movie, and set out to make the fans squirm in their chairs, made me feel better about it.. and i really luved the darker mood of the movie, it still gives me the creeps to even think about it..

    i am enjoying being freaked out by such a horrifying and gore galore movie!!

  5. I agree with Dan, it was a little boring in exactly that way. Part of what made ED the original awesome was that it was quirky and fun/not so serious. I would watch the sequel to this one if they made it if I was bored, so it wasn't bad... just not my favorite movie ever.

  6. I haven't seen it yet but looks creepy enough to buy the Blu Ray

  7. I saw this in theatres 3 times... and though it wasn't the best Evil Dead movie - it was definitely a very good little splatter-fest.

    Despite all the tweaks and changes -the film felt too familiar.

    For some reason I expected this movie to be a little bit more on the creepy side. Sort of like The Exorcist but in the woods with chainsaws. Something that really messes with your head. Because I felt that's what Raimi tried to do with all the sights and sounds of the original.

  8. It was a good horror movie with lots of goodies for the eyes to feast on. It wasn't able to give the genre a new flavor but at least it wasn't boring. Sadly, some dialogues are just blargh. I agree with a B grade and look forward to the planned sequels.

  9. The dialogue was fucking atrocious and put me right off. It sounded more akin to mainstream horror. The originals were great as the demons came across as twisted but childlike. These are just angry teenage demons going through puberty. I didn't care for any of the characters, the pacing was all wrong. What excelled with the original too was the psychological terror for when Ash hit the basement. Well the card reading too. It was unnerving where as this was not. Visual gore to make up for the lack of psychological terror. Also the sound sucked. Whereas the original as well as being an intense bombardment on the eyes and brains it was also an onslaught on the ears.

    The only thing that this film merely resembled any reference to the originals was the brief use of the wind outside. We barely heard the wind.

    I'll give it another go but the enthusiasm to approach again is going to be a chore.

  10. I know it's a new take one the original but it bored the pants off me and you'd think 30 years later they'd really amp up the headfuck past 10. Obviously not. As for the hand bite in the cellar, i would've been more impressed if it was a vagina bite instead. Possessed twat.

  11. And another thing. The evil in the woods is speeding around doing 50+. Then when it catches up its back to being a girl on all fours crawling about. Like WTF?

  12. Bah, this movie was truly awful and boring, but not compared to the original. If I'd compare this to the original, I'd have to say things like 'travesty', 'shame on the franchise' and w/e.

    I mean, it's a shitty movie BY ITSELF. Even if this didn't have the Evil Dead moniker it'd still be fully deserving of my undying hate.

    The only things that work in this movie are the cast, the character of David and the effects. The rest is beyond poor. I don't get all the love for Mia, since I found her the least interesting character in the movie, and this movie includes the almost non-character known as Natalie.