I saw the original The Evil Dead on Netflix a few months ago. I liked it. Didn’t love it. The absurd laughter from one of the characters, the cheap makeup and effects, and the poor execution of black comedy made it nothing more than okay. When I was reading up on this remake, I saw that Bruce Campbell, cast member of the Sam Raimi cult classic, was quoted saying, “The remake’s gonna kick some ass — you have my word.” I now see that Bruce Campbell is a pretty honest guy.
The plot of this successful remake is simple enough – twenty-something-year- old Mia is brought up to her family’s remote vacation cabin by her three friends and brother David for a cold- turkey drug intervention. It’s evident that no one from Mia or David’s family had been there for a while, because when the group venture into the basement, they find a slew of strung up dead cats hanging from the ceiling, along with a book enclosed in a garbage bag, wrapped in barbed wire. Naturally, one of the five is stupid enough to cut through the barbed wire with pliers, tear open the bag, read past the “LEAVE THIS BOOK ALONE” sketching on one of the pages, and speak aloud the words that awaken the demonic presence that is…wait for it…the evil dead. (Note: This, along with the original, is incorrectly regarded as a zombie movie. It’s a demonic possession movie. There’s a difference.)
It’s not hard to guess what happens next – the friends are killed off one by one. See Friday the Thirteenth, Cabin in the Woods, etc. The way it’s done in this movie, though, is rather impressive. It’s true that the film is occasionally reliant on gore in exchange for thrills, but it actually works very well. Like the original, it was over-done at times, but
I was entertained from start to finish. The best horror movies are those that honestly make you think the story’s over and then surprise you. Evil Dead is one of those horrors. Furthermore, it’s an undeniable improvement over the original (in my 21st-century teenage eyes).
Needless to say, don’t go into this movie lightly. It was one of the, if not the, goriest and bloodiest movies I’ve ever seen. Keep in mind; this is coming from a guy who’s seen Hostel and all the Saw movies, among others. When I say that it rained blood, I’m completely serious. It rained blood. Not to mention a girl puked blood all over her friend’s face. Oh yeah, and a girl cut off her own arm. The disturbing part is that this is only a fraction of the eye-popping graphics from Evil Dead.
Sure, this movie may potentially leave you light-headed, nauseous, and disinclined to venture out into the woods for a while, but it’ll be able to do what very few horror remakes can – genuinely entertain you. Take that for what it is and run with it.
PS: If you go see this movie, keep your eyes open for the Pulp Fiction and The Sixth Sense references.