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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Jane Levy
Jessica Lucas
Shiloh Fernandez
Lou Taylor Pucci
Elizabeth Blackmore.
Directors
Fede Alvarez.
Screenwriters
Diablo Cody
Fede Alvarez.
Running Time
91 minutes

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Evil Dead
Out of the Ash(es)...


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Plot
Holed up in a remote cabin, Mia (Levy) and friends stumble on a strange discovery in the cellar. It’s Naturon Demonto, The Book Of The Dead. Now the local demons are loose, and that infamous tool shed is about to get busy...


Review
Evil Dead
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Texas Chain Saw. Amityville. Friday The 13th. Nightmare On Elm Street. Last House On The Left. I Spit On Your Grave. The Hills Have Eyes. Halloween. Eight titles. Pop quiz: did you a) think of the original? Or did you b) think of the remake? If you said a), we’re not entirely surprised. If you said b), you directed I Spit On Your Grave and need to start this again. Hollywood’s horror recycling project has largely produced an awful lot of androids: technically superior but lifeless doubles. This remake of The Evil Dead, one of the last titles of the video era to be reset, is helmed by an untested director and features a semi-name cast but earns more goodwill than most. Deadites Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are producing, practically on quality control.

Evil Dead 2.0 is an odd bod among remakes. It’s not a sequel, or a reboot, or a reimagining, but an episode. In a pedantic triumph of identikit production design, we’re back at the same cabin, same cellar, same dreaded tool shed. Not only is there an eerie sense of déjà view — the idea here is that Ash’s adventures appear to be just another bloody chapter from The Book Of The Dead (now printed on fire-retardant asbestos). The scenery hasn’t changed, the victims have; in fact, the group dynamic is sharper than the headless slasher chickens who’ve gone on holiday by mistake.

Logic’s never been one of The Evil Dead’s strong suits, but this puts some effort into justifying the group’s stay in hell’s own shed — supported by her brother David (Shiloh Fernadez), Mia (Jane Levy) is on a rehab retreat and her friends won’t let her leave until she’s screamed herself better. The film even dabbles with the idea that this could be a psychotic episode: one of the group has a family history of schizophrenia, another could be suffering ultraviolent cold turkey. The ambiguity doesn’t last long: the concept’s tossed out into the woods like a flapping red herring. From the moment the doomed five arrive, Fede Alvarez’s eye is on the nail gun. And, to be fair, so is yours.

Shunning CG, the decision to go old school is easily Evil Dead’s brightest move. Once hell is unleashed, the effect is like driving through a car wash of gore. Revealing a splatter movie’s routines feels a bit mean, like you’re giving away its jokes (there’s a reason visual effects are called ‘gags’). We’ll leave you to discover its razor blade-licking delights for yourself, but weirdly, the film particularly has it in for arms: stabbed, sliced, chopped, bitten. (This could be a homage to Evil Dead 2’s Hemingway gag. Or maybe Alvarez just really hates arms.) In terms of visceral impact, the splatty shocks are hardly groundbreaking or (whisper it) hugely frightening, but the multiple goregasm climax effectively puts the original’s Plasticine massacre to shame.

Still, there’s a giant puttering chainsaw in the room that can’t be ignored. Bruce Campbell’s Ash was as much a part of The Evil Dead as the hosepiping gore. Alvarez sidesteps the issue entirely by declining to side with a clear hero. The misdirection keeps you on your toes — the cost is a fuzzier dramatic focus and thinner characters, never more evident than in Elizabeth Blackmore’s disposable blonde, a role so throwaway she only comes to life when she’s dead. (Of the cast, poor Lou Taylor Pucci comes off worst, eventually reduced by the FX team to a supersize voodoo doll.)

Apart from the dashing demon-cam and the odd visual wink, Alvarez steers clear of aping Raimi, pinching scraps of J-horror (the Dead now do the neck-cricking routine from The Ring) and early Cronenberg (body horror parasites, plus a sick-up to rival Brundlefly’s drop-vomit). Alvarez borrows enthusiastically, but you sense the voice isn’t quite fully formed. You can even hear it in the indecisive score — great when it’s parping and crashing à la Bernard Herrmann, baffling when it goes James Horner, too lush and sentimental, more suited to mild fly-fishing drama than a splatter movie.

Where the film’s left wanting is in a sense of humour. In this department, Evil Dead slots right in with recent remakes: it’s so terrified of being camp, it overcompensates the moody, mean, portentous style, lurking around gloomily even during its party tricks. You could argue that, since Raimi already remade Evil Dead with Evil Dead 2, reviving his gore-toon madness is self-defeating. This remake is very much a product of the torture-prawn era, but does it have to be so hard-faced? We’ll give the final word to Mia. “Promise you’ll stay until the end,” she pleads in her opening scenes. If you’re feeling brave, take the hint — hang about after the closing credits and you might be surprised...


Verdict
Prepare yourself for a shock: a horror remake that, at its best, manages to recapture the original’s hardcore nastiness. It could certainly do with laughing at itself a bit more, though.


Reviewed by Simon Crook


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Average user rating for Evil Dead
Empire Star Rating

RE: Evil Dead

L: garvielloken L: jackcarlin18 first and second Evil Dead were unintentionally comedicy loose yourself over the fact that there is no comedy in this year's remake? he first Evil Dead had some subtle comedy and I guess you could say it was unintentional, but with Evil Dead 2, I think Raimi knew what he was doing with the comedy. It's like watching The Three Stooges at times (Bruce vs his hand in the kitchen) and even Raimi has mentioned throughout the years how much of an inf... More

Posted by clownfoot at 11:28, 22 November 2013 | Report This Post


RE:

L: TheGodfather Keep watching the end credits, by way, all the way through to the end. did. Possibly the stupidest ego-driven "cameo" ever put on film. Anyway, back to the film. I wasn't expecting much at all. The original The Evil Dead is IMO the same as most of the 80's video nasties I grew up watching on a fuzzy VHS - pretty shit (with the exception of TCM) ED2 made up for it, but nothing will convince me '81 ED is a good film. This is a slight improvement, main... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jonson at 08:25, 22 November 2013 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt1288558/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1]Evil Dead (2013)s is the case with many horror remakes these days, this one also doesn`t match up with the original. That said, this remake is different from the likes of the Texas Chainshaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street remakes: this one is watchable. On itself, this is a fun, at moments creepy and especially very gory film. The blood hits you left and right on the screen and the scares are great most of the time. The nods towards Rai... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:50, 30 October 2013 | Report This Post


Evil Dead

L: jackcarlin18 first and second Evil Dead were unintentionally comedicy loose yourself over the fact that there is no comedy in this year's remake? he first Evil Dead had some subtle comedy and I guess you could say it was unintentional, but with Evil Dead 2, I think Raimi knew what he was doing with the comedy. It's like watching The Three Stooges at times (Bruce vs his hand in the kitchen) and even Raimi has mentioned throughout the years how much of an influence they were on the s... More

Posted by garvielloken at 14:27, 24 September 2013 | Report This Post


Evil Dead

Just like all the other recent remakes, another glossy but empty crapfest. Don't bother your arse, unless you're new to the horror genre. In fact still don't bother, just watch the original which will at least be a fun experience. How can a gory horror about a cabin in the woods be such a fucking bore and still only 90mins?? ... More

Posted by Vitamin F at 13:48, 24 September 2013 | Report This Post


Evil Dead

Having already watched 2013's Evil Dead before, I knew what I was getting in to when buying this DVD; I was in for a gory-licious treat. This movie may not be suited to everyone's taste by any means, I mean I watched it with my brother last night who absolutely hated it, that's just the sort of movie it is. Me, on the other hand, well I absolutely loved it. Not being a fan of the original two, I can see 2013's Dead as a fun, balls-to-the wall gore affair that knows what it's doing and does... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jackcarlin18 at 12:42, 14 August 2013 | Report This Post


EVIL DREAD

average remake with 1 dimensional cardboard cutout characters and tonnes of blood n gore thrown in as if it wants to b banned like the original. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ikhlaq33 at 02:23, 26 July 2013 | Report This Post


pretty but shitty

the special effects, cinematography, and set design all looked good but uninspired, everything else was underwhelming at best and jarring when it came to the dodgy script weak character development and a sloppy pacing that made the film seem as if the director's sole interest was getting to the next special effect. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hi charlie at 18:07, 03 July 2013 | Report This Post


pretty but shitty

the special effects, cinematography, and set design all looked good but uninspired, everything else was underwhelming at best and jarring when it came to the dodgy script weak character development and a sloppy pacing that made the film seem as if the director's sole interest was getting to the next special effect. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hi charlie at 18:07, 03 July 2013 | Report This Post


The actress Jane Levy who plays Mia is the stand out cast member here.

If you watched me on my you tube channel yesterday, you would know how passionate I was to see Evil Dead (2013). I remember seeing the original when it was released in 1981. At the time the experience was like a rollercoaster ride and I recall this cherished memory like it happened recently. 32 years later and I hardly slept last night,absolute bleedinganticipation. The memory of the classic film camera shot gliding across the swampy forest, the mist and the foreboding darkness surrounding that... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bleedingcritic at 12:52, 11 June 2013 | Report This Post


RUBBISH!!!!!

THE MOVIE WAS A CRAPFEST. ONE OF THE WORST HORROR REMAKES I HAVE EVER WATCHED. BORING CHARACTERS, HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE! I HATED THIS FILM. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DAPPY44 at 10:59, 29 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Guts, Gore and Glory

L: jackcarlin18 I dont know how you couldnt love this film! is gory, is beautifully done and its fun! What's not to love! orry does 6/10 mean terrible in your world then? There was humour in there, but mostly it was through lines which I may or may not have meant to draw that response. ... More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 13:11, 28 April 2013 | Report This Post


not that fussed about the 'lack of humour'. horror, for me, is a serious business. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ladybooger at 19:00, 25 April 2013 | Report This Post


not that fussed about the 'lack of humour'. horror, for me, is a serious business. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ladybooger at 19:00, 25 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Evil Dead

Saw it this morning (along with about 6 other people, one of whom was a 60-ish year old woman dressed in a Sainsburys uniform - legend). I rather enjoyed it, I must say. I would disagree that the performances were poor, Jane Levy especially was exceptionally creepy as Mia. The rest weren't exactly Daniel Day-Lewis but significantly better than most remakes. What I did enjoy was that even though it was only 90 minutes-ish, it was very well paced, and less hectic than the trailers sug... More

Posted by UTB at 15:17, 25 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Evil Dead

I quite liked it, but it does have its issues. It never overcomes the problems of the original film, and I say that as someone who considers the first film to be entertaining but heavily flawed. I think it's about on par with the 81 Evil Dead. Apparently Diablo Cody was brought in for a script polish, but the dialogue is so perfunctory you'd be forgiven for not knowing she had a hand in it. ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 10:49, 24 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Avoid

Not scary, and not really any better than any of the remakes we've had thrown our way of late. Entertaining gore though. ... More

Posted by jcthefirst at 12:16, 22 April 2013 | Report This Post


Avoid

Spoiler alert: okay to start off the idea (which doesn't make an entire film) of the sister going into the woods for a detox was super super original I liked that a lot and the fact that the others where like sceptical about anything supernatural happening. Strong start if you can ignore the whole american kids going into the woods being killed off one by one. The film was more gross out than horror. And the gross outness seemed to have been either tacked on or copied from the original (which I... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kanada83 at 22:10, 21 April 2013 | Report This Post


Guts, Gore and Glory

I dont know how you couldnt love this film! is gory, is beautifully done and its fun! What's not to love! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jackcarlin18 at 22:01, 21 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE:

L: seanofthedead would like to know kim newman thoughts,i was dissapointed,and the ho played david was awful.ote] Pretty much all the actors were bad, but got the impression that this was on purpose. Main two problems for me was it being way too high budget and lacking in the slapstick humour of Rami's film. It was a nasty piece of work, with entertaining gore moments, but not scary in the slightest. 6/10 p.s. could have been much, much worse, get over it people! ... More

Posted by ElephantBoy at 13:56, 21 April 2013 | Report This Post


Great...if not groovy!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was truely horrific. As a remake of 'The Evil Dead' (1981) - and not the hilarious 'Evil Dead 2' (1987) as quite a few folk out there appear to think - it was perfect. So violent and gruesome I was squirming in my seat and constantly on-edge during every scene! It was so much more gruesome that than the original which was banned for the tree-rape scene and solitary decapitation! I honestly can't believe some of the stuff they get away with in this version! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by OneLastJob at 13:33, 21 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE:

I saw the Evil Dead remake two days ago at the cinema, which I thought was very good. I'm not always into the idea of remaking films, but this one and the Maniac remake have been the best ones I watched so far. It did have moments that brought a touch of The Cabin in the Woods (in my opinion) but there were some differences I noticed in this remake, which you can compare with the original. For example, Jane Levy who plays Mia is a drug addict and I believe her character was meant to resem... More

Posted by adamthehorrorfan at 09:09, 21 April 2013 | Report This Post


would like to know kim newman thoughts,i was dissapointed,and the actor who played david was awful. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by seanofthedead at 08:30, 20 April 2013 | Report This Post


Chainsawingly awesome.

Fede Alvarez has well and truly taken a leaf out of Sam Raimi's book for this exhilarating, and thoroughly old-school, horror flick. His determination to stick-to-the-formula saves the day here, where it's been the downfall of many an imitator. If you can regard 2013's Evil Dead as a companion to the original, rather than a replacement, you'll have immense fun. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 22:27, 19 April 2013 | Report This Post


RE: much ado about nothing

torture-prawn ? ... More

Posted by Invader_Ace at 11:59, 19 April 2013 | Report This Post


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