Evil Dead 2013 poster
I would have to disagree with the movie’s tagline. This is actually not the most terrifying movie I have ever seen.
That being said, this movie scared the shit out of me.
I watched the original Evil Dead when I was younger and immensely enjoyed it. Against the incredibly special effects we have access to currently, the original was almost campy, but that worked for it. It mixed horror and comedy together in a match that fit like peanut butter and marshmallows – it shouldn’t work, but it’s delicious just to spite you.
The 2013 version of Evil Dead forgoes the humor and goes straight for the horror aspect. This might have worked, and very well, if not for the excessive gore.
This movie doesn’t get it completely wrong. Rather than being a straight remake, the story is modernized. Five friends are getting together at a remote cabin owned by two of them, siblings, in order to help Mia overcome her dangerous addiction to drugs. The story is filled with greater conflict when you learn that Mia and David, the siblings who own the cabin, haven’t seen each other for quite some time – not since before the slow death of their mother, which Mia was present to see.
This conflict, and the love the two have for each other, is steady throughout the movie – an impressive feat in modern movies, which have an unfortunate habit of relying upon special effects to drive their ratings up, rather than plot and character development.
Unfortunately, the other characters seem flat and simple against these two. While the relationship between the siblings is well-written, the others seem mere caricatures of the characters from the original movie. The romantic relationship David has with his girlfriend, Natalie, is almost completely ignored after the initial introduction, and her character seems to exist for the sole purpose of being the “dumb blonde” who suffers a similar fate as that of her predecessor.
Eric, the other guy we well remember from the original movie as being the one who unleashes this hell on them inadvertently, is given more personality than Natalie. We can well-recognize him as a nerd, and one does question what his focus is in that he manages to speak the words of a language he has never before seen with such an exquisite accent. Olivia, his girlfriend, is a trained nurse and still has more personality than the dumb blonde. She also has her own conflict when her remedies for what begins to affect Mia are disastrously ineffective.
The plot is familiar to anyone who has seen the original Evil Dead, and follows the storyline closely, allowing fans of the original to know what’s going to happen before it does, but not quite in the same way. In some aspects, the story differs, but there is a constant parallel that viewers can enjoy.
The movie goes deeper into the aspects of demonic possession and satanism than the original did, likely due to regulations on ratings. Some of the aspects of the possessions within the movie mirror those viewer’s may have seen in the original The Exorcist (highly recommended to fans of the horror genre).
Unfortunately, while the movie does have its great points, it also has some very prominent negative points. As it progresses, the movie becomes progressively more gory – far more than would be necessary to make the movie seem realistic. The movie is terrifying not only for the demonic aspect, but also because of the friends turning on each other, trapped with no chance of escape.
Violence in movies has become excessive recently, no doubt due to the popularity of gore movies like Saw and Hostel, which focus on the torture of humans, with heavy attention paid to the various ways someone can be cut to pieces and how long they can last without dying. Evil Dead seems to carry on in this same way, the violence as equally overdone as the gore, both of which severely cripple the movie.
While I found the ending of the movie to be both fascinating and a nice throw-back to the original Evil Dead, with a twist, overall, the movie was a disappointment.
I rate it a whopping 3 stars, because of the excessive, unnecessary gore and violence, and with heavy hopes that they do not remake Army of Darkness.
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