In Review: Evil Dead (2013)

by Mark Searby on 11/04/2013

(l to r) Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Shiloh Fernandez, Jane Levy and Elizabeth Blackmore in TriStar Pictures' horror EVIL DEAD.

This hugely anticipated remake of 1981 cult-horror film The Evil Dead sees five twenty-something friends (Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore) decide to vacation at a remote cabin. But when they discover a Book Of The Dead, they unwittingly summon up demons living in the surrounding woods. These evil spirits possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left to fight for survival.

Sam Raimi’s classic video nasty gets the remake treatment via first time director Fede Alvarez and a screenplay by Diablo Cody. Whilst it plays close to the original, Alvarez has tried to make it stand on its own two feet but it is still difficult to understand if it’s a straight up remake or a re-imagining. The initial set up all feels very familiar so it’s left to the blood & guts moments to be the standout here.

As each of the leading actor vacuums become possessed the horror is ramped up another notch, and this is what saves the film; wonderfully creepy moments make the skin crawl, the tree rape scene that now has a boldness to it and the final twenty minutes spray truck loads of blood in every direction thanks to the legendary chainsaw.

What brings this “remake” down are all the clichés that Joss Whedon hit on through Cabin In The Woods. The kids are a bunch of archetypes with no personality and we welcome their gruesome deaths. Even reading from the blood soaked Necronomicon (which is viewed once and then put back on the shelf) and a venture into the basement to investigate a creaking noise has been done (and thoroughly mocked) years before and so all impetus is lost.

Evil Dead cannot match the original for all-out terror, but it’s certainly exhilarating and gore-filled. Horror fans young and old will find something to like in its compact ninety minute run time and whilst there is a nagging feeling of pointlessness to the whole thing, it’s still one of the better video nasty remakes of recent years.

Mark has awarded Evil Dead (2013) three Torches of Truth

three torches


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: