Evil Dead

Evil Dead

There was a lot of buzz around this flick back in 2013. It marked the first time in this classic horror series that director Sam Raimi & title character Ash Williams, played by the delightfully schticky actor Bruce Campbell, did not return to the series.

A reboot with none of the original cast and crew in a movie landscape riddled with bad reboots, this just had to be crap….

But hot damn! They nailed it! 

Keeping most of the plot elements from the original series, the story is much more serious but still allows the viscous humor to shine through. There are no laughing lamps, deer heads, or sofas here, though some will wish there were. Evil is released by way of the Necronomicon and the adrenaline, blood, and viscera all flow over you like going over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel.

I know what you're thinking, “But gee-wiz! That ol’ movie is from 2013 when everything was being pushed out with subpar CGI. The effects in this have to suck.” While lots of movies did suffer from this (I’m looking at you Birdemic 2: The Resurrection) there is good news here; there is little to no CGI. The effects even hold up to today's horror standards. Major props to the prop department and director Fede Álvarez keeping true to the original series' use of practical effects. From vomiting a kiddie pool’s worth of blood, to sawing an arm off, to taking shots from a shotgun & nail gun, to raining blood; it is all done in camera with the actors doing most of their own action. Upon revisiting it, I was equally grossed out and left in awe of the unrelenting violence. This was originally going to get an NC-17 rating! I’d give my left arm or face to be able to see that cut… what a shame… I say, let the creator's vision pour out like the 70,000 gallons of fake blood used in this movie.

Cabin-in-the-woods has become a horror movie trope (looking at you Cabin In The Woods) thanks to the original Evil Dead series. This movie may keep this now common setting, but it doesn’t disappoint. Plagued by a demonic evil from a Book of the Dead, you feel as helpless as I’m sure these five friends felt throughout the course of the movie. The chaotic nature of this evil is never fully explained or understood. You have Mia, a problematic druggy attempting to get clean; her brother David, who disappeared when his mother was on her deathbed and now wants to help; Olivia, the strong, take-charge leader; Natalie, who is your typical background horror character (I forgot she was in the movie at one point); and Eric, a nerdy dweeb who seems to be a buzzkill. You might recognize most of the cast from other horror flicks like Cloverfield and Don’t Breathe

When it was all over, I was left with the same feelings I had when I went to this back on opening night. Acting as both a reboot and an homage to what came before, Fede Álvarez made a movie where the effects don’t date the movie. This is a reboot done right! Hollywood needs to look back at this movie so they can stop pumping out all these cruddy reboots (looking at you The Thing (2011)). Can’t wait to see how this holds up to the new film due out later this month, Evil Dead Rise!


Review by Nerd at War

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