Evil Dead (2013) Review

evil_dead reviewYear: 2013

Director: Fede Alvarez

Starring:  Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Neoli’s Review: If it’s gore you want, you’ve come to the right place.  Evil Dead, the 2013 remake by Fede Alvarez, has plenty of gore to last you for a long time.  This is torture porn at its darkest and grittiest—which means  fountains of blood, lots of body parts you wouldn’t dare imagine being mutilated, and senseless killing all in the name of demonic possession.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen any of the original Evil Dead series started by Sam Raimi in 1981—just the bits from the trailers.  1981 seems such a long time—an innocent, carefree pre-Internet, pre-smartphone, and pre-tablet time—where it’s easier to believe in demon stuff and the scare factor is unspoiled.  Now, there’s Wikipedia, and reviews, and sneak peaks, and other spoilers, and yet despite all these, Evil Dead the remake still manages to deliver pure horror.

The premise is simple: five friends—David, Mia, Olivia, Eric, and Natalie (look, their names even spell D-E-M-O-N!)—retreat into a cabin in the woods (They’re helping Mia recover from drug addiction.)  (If it sounds like the premise of The Cabin in the Woods, that’s because The Cabin… cheerfully references Evil Dead, although if you remember, in The Cabin… Marty with the collapsible bong has no intention of quitting weed.) 

Anyway, inside that cabin, they stumble upon the book of the dead which they still read aloud despite its warnings not to (because of course if they didn’t, there would be no horror film).  Violent demon gets unleashed, and what happens next is a series of possession where each one of them falls victim and tries to kill the rest.

The result: massive gore and bloodbath.  Apparently, being possessed by a demon compels the possessed victim to cut and disfigure him/herself.  Meanwhile, the others—desperate to escape from being possessed—will also do anything, even if it means sawing their very own body part (Kinda like that scene in Saw VI, but sans the demon part).  What makes Evil Dead infinitely horrific is the permanence of its mark: even if you get out alive, it’s not just simple scars you’ll get; you lose an arm, you’ll rip your face, you’ll slice your tongue.

Scenes from the Evil Dead the remake doesn’t stray far from the original.  There’s still the tree rape scene.  And just like the original, they never run out of dangerous tools to harm their friends and themselves with—electric knife, nail gun, hammer, knife, crowbar, shotgun, even a box cutter, which from now on will haunt moviegoers with that scene of Mia slicing her own tongue in two like a demon’s forked tongue.

They say if there’s one thing missing from this remake, it’s the campy, black humor of the original—see, they didn’t take things seriously back then.  With this Evil Dead reboot, everything is solemnly gory.  Needless to say, Evil Dead is not for the squeamish and the faint of heart.  Do not dare watch if you’re pregnant or have a heart ailment.  This is not the film that will renew your faith in humanity.  You’ve been warned.

Neoli’s Rating8/10

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