MOVIE REVIEW - EVIL DEAD (2013)
Lou Taylor Puchi
Of all the classic horror movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Night of the Living Dead. Sam Raimi’s 1981 classic, Evil Dead was the most influential and remembered horror movie for its ingenuity, its classic story, and the fact that it was made in a ham-sandwich budget and yet it was able to deliver a quality horror film. Now with the fad of re-making classic horror movies most re-makes/re-imaginings never really live up to the quality of their predecessors. Did this re-make follows the same bloody footsteps as they did or did it instead give us something fresh than something rotten?
Evil Dead – Is a re-make of the 1981 classic and it tells the story of 5 young adults moving in to a remote cabin to help their friend, Mia from getting through her drug addiction. They meanwhile find themselves in a satanic nightmare when they find a trapdoor to a secret hatch, one of them happens to have found and read a mysterious book that made one of them become possessed by a demon.
I was very much looking forward to seeing Evil Dead, I was a huge fan of the classic Evil Dead movies and Army of The Darkness. When I heard that they are doing a Sneak Preview for the movie in the cinema near me I went out of my way to see it and it was worth it. I’m very happy to say that this movie is a quality horror movie that happens to be a modern re-make. Director, Fede Alvarez and Producers, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell actually cares for the material and all of them shared this passion in delivering a quality horror movie that is very loyal to its beloved material and I for one had a very good time with this movie.
Fans of the classic movies and Horror fans will be happy that the movie did live up to the classic very well (even if they did not have Ash Williams in it) and be entertained by some scares and gory imagery. The marketing team boasts about this movie being “The Most Terrifying Movie You Will Ever See…. Ever” Did it live up to it? In my point of view; the movie had disturbingly gory imagery (It’s really fucked up) throughout the movie that will likely make a lot of people be terrified as they leave the theater. But not to me, It was more disturbing than genuinely scary but I can see why others can be terrified by this movie nonetheless. If most horror re-makes are updated with CGI, this is updated with a large barrel full of gore (lots and lots of gore). It is very impressive that thus movie were done with practical effects and that is very rare to see nowadays because of the usage of Computer Generated effects (CGI). They take the usage of practical effects to its advantage. The sense of realism and the usage of practical effects added so much to that imagery that it could make someone cringe for hours. Though I do wish the scares would be a little more genuine, scenes of the possessed person appearing behind them did become tiring the more they use it, there were scares here and there that did felt genuinely scary (enough) but I do wish the movie was like that overall. I can’t really go through this review without mentioning this movie called “Cabin in the Woods” which basically borrows the plot of the 1981 Classic and Horror movies in general, It must be very difficult to do this movie after that movie coming out when all the tricks in horror movies are revealed. The Cabin In the Woods was very much like that show “Magic’s biggest Secrets”.
When it comes to re-makes as much as I want them to stay loyal to the material, I really don’t want a carbon copy of the original being updated with modern-day special effects. There were a lot of flourishes of new things to offer in this re-make. The story is a step-up from the classic, they have a reason to go to this cabin and why should they stay anyways when they began to experience weird things, I thought that it was a believable. but if I would have a little nit-pick about the story and it would be that giving the reason why they had to read the book when they are told not to, they should’ve took the route of “I know this ancient language that you don’t understand so I’ll read it” route but you (even I) learned to accept it anyways that they didn’t take that route and that’s why It’s not really much of a gripe to me. It’s also darker and more serious than the Raimi movies as well; the old movies had that scary yet campy vibe to them that you can actually laugh out loud by the in-jokes being delivered in the old ones. At first I thought of that change could’ve not been changed because I wanted some characters to at least have a personality to some characters (because most characters feels very similar except the odd ball) but as I continue watching in the movie I don’t think it needed some comedy because of serious the situations are. The characters were literally labeled immediately on the spot at one scene where "hey, you're the smart one", "you're the weird one" and "this is my girlfriend" my little nit-pick about that scene was the fact how obvious that they introduce their character that way, but that's just a nit-pick honestly. There are some homages and easter eggs that were cleverly put together in this movie, the camera swooping through the forest, the red chainsaw, the tree branch rape, the shotgun, and more. Fans of the classic will enjoy picking those little things throughout the movie.
To be quick about the performances (since I am very much aware of the fact that they aren’t trying to get nominated for an Oscar or something like that) I thought that Jane Levy stole the show as this junkie who got possessed, when she was possessed I thought she outshines all of the actors in this movie. I did like Shiloh Fernandez and Lou Taylor Pucci of all the people in the cast (especially Jane Levy) I thought they were the ones with actual depth and personality to them (I know I shouldn’t be looking at these kinds of things at Horror movies but I just couldn’t resist sometimes).
In the end, I had a bloody great time with this movie. This Evil Dead is everything a horror-remake should be; Its relevant, It gives something new to the table, do necessary changes, loyal to the beloved material and be gorily scary (scary enough) and when they all add up they will be an entertaining horror film overall. Evil Dead is the best horror re-make to date and the best horror movie of the year. Fans of the classic will be very pleased that this movie was handled with care by a great director like Fede Alvarez and producers, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. I highly recommend you see this immediately when the movie is still having a sneak preview in an Ayala Mall theater near you and in case you missed make sure to mark your calendars when it gets released in May 8th. But for those Evil Dead fans (or those who have seen the 3 movies at least) there’s something for you in the after credits of this movie.
+USAGE OF PRACTICAL EFFECTS
+A STEP UP TO THE ORIGINAL
+ SOME INTENSE SCARES
-NOT ENOUGH GENUINE SCARES
4.5/5 – FOR THE WIN!