Evil Dead Review

Evil Dead is a 2013 supernatural horror film directed by Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breath), starring Jane Levy (Don’t Breathe), Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood), Lou Taylor Pucci (Carriers), Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield), and Elizabeth Blackmore (Isabel).  The fourth installment in the Evil Dead franchise serving as a reboot of the 1981 film The Evil Dead, the film follows five friends who head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.


Positives:

  • Awesome use of special effects
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good performances
  • Gore is handle effectively
  • Tons of gore

Negatives:

  • Lackluster characters

Plot:  The story follows siblings Mia and David, and their three friends who head to a remote cabin to help Mia get over her drug addiction.  While there the five discover a cellar filled with rotting animal corpses and a book called the Naturom Demonto.  After one of the group reads from it, they unleash the malevolent forces within that begins possessing Mia, to which the other believe she’s experiencing the effects of withdrawal.  However, as the night progresses the demonic force begins possessing them all one-by-one.  The story is actually pretty good and feels more grounded than the original.  Mia and David have issues concerning their mother whom David abandons while Mia is trying to overcome her drug addiction.  Her addiction does make for a solid base for them coming to the cabin.  You can say it is predictable, but it is entertaining.  And the climax is pretty epic, with a final battle between Mia and the demonic force. (3 out of 5)

Characters:  The characters are decent although really the only standout character is Mia, who is struggling with drug addiction which leads the group to the cabin in the first place.  She’s likable, and she is probably the most relatable character.  Especially when she begins seeing things and getting possessed.  David is alright, he’s just a bland character.  Most of the time things are happening, he just reacts, hardly ever taking initiative.  Eric is probably the most standout next to Mia.  Sure, it’s his fault that everything is happening but he is actually the voice of reason, often stating the obvious.  He probably has it the worst of the group, basically being tortured for the rest of the film.  Olivia and Natalie are alright but they don’t really standout enough, aside from Olivia having some training in nursing and that Natalie is David’s girlfriend.  It would’ve been better had the movie taken a look into their lives before the events of the film. The characters aren’t too deep and it affects how much you care about them, but they are still pretty likable.  (3 out of 5)

Cast:  The performances are good with the only standout being Jane Levy.  She shows the most depth in terms of emotion and goes through so much when it comes to her being afraid, being haunted, or being possessed.  The supporting cast also consist of Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore.  Bruce Campbell does make a small cameo at the end of the film and he just looks awesome. (3 out of 5)

Visuals:  There’s no denying that this movie’s special effects were handled with care, hands down some great use of special effects.  The use of practical and CGI executed and blended pretty well and the gore is sure to turn stomachs.  Violent sequences are pretty intense especially with the fantastic makeup designs.  The overall theme is very dark and creepy and definitely maintains a pretty intense atmosphere.  The possessions look great, the best they’ve ever looked; with the characters skin tone changed and different colored eyes, Mia’s possession being the most extreme.  Also, the camera angles are pretty dynamic, keeping the focus on the characters with a sense of intensity.  (5 out of 5)

Score:  The score is straight up awesome.  It definitely helps to establish the dark atmosphere as well as maintain the suspense. The final battle between Mia and the demon is pretty brutal but what makes it so intense is the powerful music playing in the background. Thumbs up to Roque Banos (Don’t Breath) for such a deep, and intense score. (4 out of 5)

Writing:  There is a lot to like in the film and most of it goes to the writing and the direction.  Fede Alvarez does capture the points that make the Evil Dead franchise great, despite the movie being more series than previous installments.  The movie does move at a good pace, following along the same lines but gives more depth to the Necronomicon ( Naturom Demonto in the movie) and the presence haunting the five.  The script gives them more credible reason as to why they’re in the woods, what connects them together and to the cabin, and a good reason as to why they don’t leave the cabin.  It does touch more on the gore than actual scares which could’ve made for a more suspenseful movie.  Also, there is the serious tone of the movie.  In previous installments, the movie is comedic has well as horrifying, however, this film is deadly serious and waste no time establishing this.  This might be a problem for hardcore fans of the series.  Also, there is the scene at the beginning of the movie, that doesn’t have much to do with the events of the film, which would’ve probably helped the movie in terms of depth if it were more important.  So the writing isn’t bad though the characters should’ve been better fleshed out.  (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Evil Dead isn’t a bad movie.  In fact, it is one of the better remakes.  It doesn’t offer much to the overall lore of the franchise, some writing points that could’ve been aired out better, and the characters are pretty lackluster and poorly written.  However, the film does feature good acting, great use of special effects, good direction, tons of gore, and an awesome soundtrack. Evil Dead gets 4 out of 5.

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