Rory M’s review published on Letterboxd :
With a tagline like “The most terrifying film you will ever experience” Evil Dead has a lot to prove, the filmmakers are making some big claims. Whilst Evil Dead may be one of the most gruesome films ever made (though even that is disputable) it is certainly not terrifying.
Evil Dead sees a group of friends go up to a remote cabin in the middle of the woods, whilst there they unleash a demon that possesses one of their own. The plot is everything that 2012’s Cabin in the Woods was making fun off, it’s a very cliché horror plot. The film must be given some credit however because these characters aren't just at the cabin for a relaxing weekend they have come in order to help Mia (Jane Levy) overcome a drug addiction. It’s a clever twist leading to some interesting scenes where you are made to question if what Mia is seeing is real or merely a figment of her imagination.
Evil Dead is all about shock value, the film tries its absolute hardest to shock. Shock it certainly does but it must be noted most of the bigger moments are present in the trailers, this is definitely a film that is better the less you have seen beforehand. Many scenes are downright gag inducing, particularly one involving an electric slicer.
Recently the horror genre has become a competition to be as gory and violent as possible. Evil Dead is certainly in the same vain, it is technically just gore for gores sake. It certainly goes further than any other horror films and whilst this is enthralling to a point it definitely flirts with the torture porn genre.
The characters in Evil Dead like most horror movie characters are just really walking victims; they are never elevated to being something more which is a shame as the original did just that. They sometimes act in a way that can be downright maddening. Jane Levy is pretty good as Mia; it’s a shame that the plot point of her being a drug addict trying to quit cold turkey isn't explored more. Shiloh Fernandez plays her brother David. The movie spends sometime developing a backstory between these two siblings but it feels very shoehorned in. The rest of the cast are your typical horror characters and barely worth mentioning.
Evil Dead isn't a film that builds at all, its lays its cards down early on. Whilst this means there isn't the usual boring first 50 minutes that are typical of horror films it does mean that the ending is a little underwhelming.
The original Evil Dead had an excellent sense of humour something that this remake is sorely lacking. This is a very dark film that has removed the humour in order to keep thing as scary as possible. This was an unwise decision because Evil Dead is a lot of things but scary isn't one of them.
The target audience for Evil Dead will love what the film has to offer, it goes to the extreme and maybe even further than it should. Evil Dead is a film that stands on its own feet; it doesn't try to ride on the coattails of the original, which is to a degree a disappointment as Evil Dead could have been a much better film if it had taken a few more cues from the superior original. Whilst it doesn't live up to all the promises that were made Evil Dead is a shocking and extremely competent horror films.