How do you review, Evil Dead 2013? As a longtime fan of the franchise, I was utterly disgusted at the idea when it was announced, Campbell and Raimi’s inclusion be damned. I was planning a boycott, then the first few stills were released, and I was curious. Then the trailer won me over and after an opening weekend viewing, what do I think?
Fede Alvarez’s flick is pretty damn impressive. It was also incredibly refreshing to see a horror movie, which aspired to simply be scaring. Not tongue in cheek, nothing meta or too clever for its own good. The Evil Dead is meant to scare audiences, and it succeeds far more than it falls short. This is one of the best genre offerings I have seen in quite some time, and a satisfying conclusion and climax.
The setup to get our cast to the cabin, is original and refreshing. Mia’s(played bravely by Jane Levy) friends and family are helping her kick her heroin habit. Once Mia is taken over by the deadite’s this allows for the cast not freaking out as much as they would. Mia is just going through withdrawals. The other four relative newcomers play their parts admirably, and while there isn’t very much background for them, they aren't paper thin either.
When shit fully hits the fan Alvarez pulls out all the stops, and tries to hit the audience with everything he has. The film is very violent, and a few times I felt like this was overly relied on. Think twice about who you bring, as there were a few walkouts at my screening after a mutilation sequence. That’s not to say Alvarez’s direction lacks a genuinely dark tone, he establishes a clear mood from the first frame. The audio mix was also used very effectively. Older fans will definitely recognize some reused audio.
The dialogue was a bit flat in places (which seems odd with Diablo Cody’s involvement), relying heavily on profanity in the exchanges between the deadites and the survivors. (Mind you this is not coming from someone who was offended.) This is a minor qualm in an other wise very strong offering.
Evil Dead 2013 is original enough, while giving proper respect to the original that spawned it. While it’s not the highest praise, but this is by far the best horror remake I’ve seen. Genre fans should be pleased with this new addition to the Evil Dead franchise. P.S. stick around until the credits end…if you’re an older fan you’ll thank me.