Remaking Sam Raimi’s classic is no small feat, but Alvarez does a tremendous job of respecting the original while taking the premise in a slightly new direction. Evil Dead centers on a group of young adults who go to a cabin in the woods to help their friend, Mia, fight her heroin addiction. When Mia tries to leave the cabin, she becomes the host of a sinister demon that has preyed on the cabin’s inhabitants for decades. What follows is the bloodiest film of all time.
While Bruce Campbell’s Ash was one of the highpoints of Raimi’s films, the remake smartly avoids attempting the impossible feat of creating a new Ash. Jane Levy delivers a great performance as Mia, and creates an incredibly resourceful protagonist and wonderfully chilling demon. While this is a darker and dirtier film, there are still traces of Raimi’s black humor. And as someone who’s more of a fan of Raimi’s first Evil Dead than I was of the campier sequels, I welcomed the more serious tone. Make no mistake, Evil Dead is still fantastically over the top, but you’ll likely laugh less while you watch.
Where the film really shines is in its art design and cinematography; it’s one of the best looking films of the genre. And as someone who hates CGI blood and idolizes Tom Savini, the film is truly a dream for practical effects nerds. And that finale…well if you haven’t seen it, just watch it.
Scare Factor: 5/5 Evil Dead is hands down one the best horror movies of the past few years. While the premise is simple, the film’s success hinges on its visual creativity and care. Whether you’ve seen the original film or not, it’s a bloody, and I do mean bloody, good time.