Evil Dead * 1/2

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Director: Fede Alvarez.
Screenplay: Fede Alvarez, Diablo Cody.
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore.

It’s been over 30 years since director Sam Raimi gave us his cult horror classic “The Evil Dead” in 1981. Now, like most other films of the genre, we are given the unavoidable remake. Raimi is on-hand again, with producing duties, but the same can said of most remakes, in that they needn’t have bothered in the first place.

In order to kick her heroine habit, Mia (Jane Levy) and a few friends head to a remote cabin away from society and any temptations. It’s here, that they stumble upon some strange goings on in the cellar and find the Book of the Dead, which once opened, releases a demon intent on possessing them all.

The difference between this and the stylishly imaginative original, is that Raimi’s was shot on a shoestring budget by a bunch of college students, intent on experimenting and pushing boundaries. This, on the other hand, throws in the bucks and it’s use of gratuitous gore simply doesn’t have the same impact or originality of it’s tongue-in-cheek predecessor. The approach that debutant director Alvarez takes is the film’s biggest issue: it has an innate inability to laugh at itself. It’s far too serious and as a result has to be judged on that. It’s one of those horrors were you know not to expect logic, reasoning or any form of a sensible decision by it’s characters. They’re merely there as fodder for some soul devouring evil entity. It is what it is, and that’s fine, but when you ask an audience to fully commit themselves, then you have to offer them something in return. If it was in touch with it’s sense of humour then this could have been a wild ride in a similar vein to “The Cabin in the Woods“. Unfortunately, it isn’t and its serious, po-faced approach comes across as ludicrous. Added to which, it’s a horror film that has very few genuine frights, a surprising lack of suspense and it’s use of jump scares are glaringly obvious and redundant. To be fair, it does bring some laughs to the table, but those laughs are entirely unintentional.

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One for the torture-porn generation that have no interest in characterisation or plot development. It’s main agenda is to deliver gore and plenty of it. In that respect, it delivers but on every other level it fails miserably. Unequivocally, the worst film of 2013.

Mark Walker

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40 Responses to “Evil Dead * 1/2”

  1. Ouch. Nice review bro even though I saw it completely different. I had a lot of fun with it even though it wasn’t the most polished film nor was it the scariest movie ever as advertised. I’ve seen it twice now and I do think it intentionally laughs at itself in some areas as well as poke fun at several overused horror movie tropes (for example the hippie-looking guy who just wouldn’t die. I loved that.) now I do agree that this one takes itself a tad too seriously and it has none of the charm and allure of the original. And it certainly will never hold up as a classic like the original.

    Great stuff bro. Love the different take on the film.

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    • Cheers bro! Yeah, I thought it started very well and I went with it but I really struggled to take it seriously despite that being its intention. There were some moments that I thought it may have intended a little tongue-in-cheek but overall it just didn’t work me. I’m not an excessive gore fan and I found the whole film to be focused mainly on that. I found it all a bit ridiculous to be honest. Had it attempt a bit more humour then I would have enjoyed it more.

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  2. I had very similar thoughts about this film. Nothing to add. You pretty much said it all. This would’ve been my worst horror film of the year. Then You’re Next came along and made these characters seem smart by comparison. Good review.

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    • Hey Mark! Nice to see you popping by. Yeah, I really didn’t go for this at all. I considered rating it even lower than I did. I don’t think I’ll see a worse movie all year. “You’re Next” will not be one ill be visiting. I think I’ve had it with horror these days. I will maybe give “The Conjuring” a go and leave it at that.

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  3. “In that respect, it delivers but on every other level it fails miserably. Unequivocally, the worst film of 2013.”

    WOW… I actually really liked this, a lot. Oh well.

    Then again – I have a post for Shitfest coming up that you’ll probably get on to me about.

    Boat Drinks!

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    • Yeah, it would seem that this film found quite a few fans. I’m certainly not one of them. Gorefest’s are just not my thing.

      I’m intrigued about your Shitfest post, though. Don’t go upsetting me now! πŸ˜‰

      Boat Drinks!

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  4. Love how you went at this, Mark. I liked it more than you, but I see your point. Why mess, or re-do, a Raimi classic like this one?

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    • Thanks Michael. I just found it to be completely unnecessary and has to be one of the least scary films I’ve seen – despite the poster claiming otherwise. I actually felt insulted that I was getting fobbed off with this nonsense.

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  5. Do not too good then? πŸ™‚

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  6. So glad somebody else shared the same feelings with this as I did. It wasn’t anything special, and even though I didn’t hate it, I can’t say I really loved watching it. It was just there, as if it was any other horror flick. Good review bud.

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  7. Why you hated it is exactly why I liked it. Really dug the over-the-top gore and somber tone.

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  8. I agree. It’s all about the gore. And yes, that’s very fun, but when none of the characters emote or even become the slightest bit sympathetic, it’s hard to really care. I was disappointed in the film, by far, but I still enjoyed the kills and the gore, which are all done incredibly well.

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    • Yeah, the kills and gore are delivered quite well but that kinda shot just isn’t for me. I like my horrors to affect me psychologically and this was certainly no where near that. I don’t think I was even scared once. Pretty damn poor in my opinion.

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  9. Agreed this film was a lame boring gore fest. Gore by itself if not scary. You know what else this film lacked, compelling characters with screen presence. I really did not care if anyone lived or died. The only cool thing in this film was the Jeep.

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    • “lame boring gore fest” is the perfect description for this Adam. I was tedious, respective nonsense that had me clock watching and laughing at how bad it was. Very insulting.

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  10. Got to disagree man, and you know I hate to do it. But for me what made this so good was the serious tone. This film had balls and went for it, no pulling of punches and I loved it πŸ™‚

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    • Well… It had balls in terms of cranking up the gore, but how much of that shit makes a good movie? I know we struggle a bit to find a horror that works on so many levels these days, but this worked on none for me. I wasn’t scared once and ultimately that’s what I’m looking for from a horror flick. I was actually pissing myself at how bad it really was. Sorry bro, but it just ain’t my bag.

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  11. I’m going to disagree here. I really liked it. I think the reason it had less humour than you were expecting is that it’s supposed to be a remake of the first one, which is actually quite serious compared to Evil Dead 2. In the end, it was a weird mix of both films… kind of serious like the first one, but with insane amounts of gore, a bit like the second one. But I really enjoyed the mix. I thought Jane Levy was ace as well. She really shone in the final stretch of the film, and did a pretty good take on the wild eyed mania of Ash from the originals.

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    • Yeah, fair point Monkey. Evil Dead 2 did have more humour than the first but I think that’s because Raimi knew it would play better if it went for the laughs. He couldn’t have gotten away with the same thing again. I just don’t think this kind of material works without having your tongue stuck firmly in your cheek and this didn’t really have that for me. The original got away with being more serious because it was kind of experimental but as audience, I think we’re beyond that now. This was millions of dollars flushed down the bog.

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  12. I thought it was average πŸ˜€

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  13. Definitely not interested in this one Mark. I actually saw the first one which I thought was quite funny, but mostly because I thought Bruce Campbell was a hoot. I don’t care about this types of horror films, it’s just far too gory for my liking. Have a nice weekend, my friend!

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  14. Good write up, Mark. I actually enjoyed it, though. I thought it was brutal of course but I was on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. I do see your point on some aspects of the movie, though, like the over the top gore (which I loved. it was so crazy!) you pointed out. Good post, man!

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    • It really wasn’t for me Vic. I actually didn’t get scared or excited at all. If anything I was clock watching and laughing at how poor it was. I could be in the minority, though, as a lot of people seemed to really take to it. To each their own, I suppose. Thanks man!

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  15. I don’t really have any desire to see this one Mark, sounds like a bit of a train wreck. Great review my friend.

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  16. “Unequivocally, the worst film of 2013.” Careful. I know from experience that uttering that phrase too early causes the universe to realign itself to disappoint you.

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  17. I thought romantic comedies were the most polarizing films out there but horror films are a close second. I dug the movie for a lot of reasons and it is an early favorite for my top ten this year. Taste can be shared but sometimes it just is hard to explain but thanks for explaining your point of view so clearly.

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    • Yeah, you’re probably right Richard. I’d say horrors are very polarising. As you have given the perfect example of. I really didn’t like this film but I have came across many who did. In all honesty, i’m very harsh on horror movies. They really need to hit the right note for me and, very rarely, do they ever do that. Thanks for dropping by, man. Appreciate it!

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  18. I loved this version of Evil Dead, which I think is so much more than ‘torture porn.’ If a movie can scare you, then it’s done a good job. (Though I do agree on the unintentional laughs). Great review πŸ™‚

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  19. FUE Hair transplant

    Evil Dead * 1/2 | MARKED MOVIES

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