I loved the original Evil Dead movie. Anyone with a brain also did. So I had a feeling of dread at this ‘reboot’.
On the plus side, it has an 18-certificate, since so many supposed horror movies are dumbed down to a 15-cert. However, the front cover has “The best horror film in years” on it. I severely doubt that, but let’s give it a whirl.
Sure, the original film was a bit rough round the edges, but its sequel was basically a retread of the same film, putting right what was a little unpolished. Or a lot unpolished.
So, Evil Dead 2013 had a tough row to hoe…
5 teenagers get to their cabin in the woods, with one of them discovering a basement full of dead cats alongside the Book of the Dead, after some early pre-credits shenanigans that show precisely what sort of weird shit went on down there.
The first half-hour gives us a couple of scenes copied from the original:
- Camera travelling at speed through the woods? Check.
- Girl gets demonically-possessed and raped by tree? Check.
However, after that, we get some genuinely well-shot scenes that show some talent in front and behind the camera (except for lead actor Shiloh Fernandez as David, who just sleepwalks through every scene he’s in) alongside a nice helping of gore. My only niggle is that this is trying to be a new ‘Evil Dead’ and I feel it would’ve made this film far better received had they changed the setting and gone their own way. The original trilogy was in a league of its own, for many reasons. To copy the idea just feels lazy, even if original producer Robert Tapert is here and is joined by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.
Compare this to Cabin in the Woods which itself had some issues, but once it got going, it really packed a hard punch and made for an unmissable horror movie. So the ‘reboot’ of the cabin idea has, in effect, already been done, and that’s a good reason for doing something new.
Of course, there’s always the danger that if director Fede Alvarez et al had done that, this film would’ve just got sidelined along with a zillion other alleged horror films that seem to fill the cinema, most of which are simply thrillers without any thrills.
So, give Evil Dead 2013 a look, specifically for the gore – which gives this viewer great reason to revel in a rare 21st Century 18-certificate film which truly earns it – but try and imagine you’re not watching a film with ‘Evil Dead’ in the title. Also, the choral, dramatic music, from Roque Baños, within is quite a treat. And at 91 minutes, it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome, which is what you can’t say for a lot of the films I’ve seen this year.
Oh, and stay for the end credits…
Go to page 2 for the presentation and extras.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.