Evil Dead (2013)
evil dead | fede alvarez | rodo sayagues | jane levy | shiloh fernandez | jessica lucas | united states | possessed | demon | demons | remake | lou taylor pucci | elizabeth blackmore | lovecraftian | phoenix connolly | jim mclarty | sian davis | stephen butterwoth
Film: Evil Dead
Director: Fede Alvarez
Writer: Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez and Jessica Lucas
This is the remake to the low-budget classic. It does something that I think remakes should do, where it takes story elements and plot points, but then makes it it’s own. This one I actually originally caught in the theater with my sister and since then have seen it a few times. The official synopsis for this film is five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of the Book of the Dead which leads them unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.
As I started to say above, I’m not opposed to remakes when they do something that is different and can stand alone, which I think this one does. I like the reason they are at the cabin here. Mia (Jane Levy) is an addict. Her friends having her out there to get over the withdrawals as she tries to get clean. This is a place they can’t easily leave and allows her to recover. Helping her are her brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez), and their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas). Also with them is David’s girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore).
The film starts off with others that are possessed and an old woman informs the father how to get rid of the demon that possesses his daughter. When this group gets to the place, they find the aftermath of what happened there. Mia’s heightened sense of smell due to the withdrawals leads them to what is in the basement. I found it interesting they went with a new look to the Necronomicon. I also like that the withdrawals make it so none of the people with her believe her when she starts to see things. They think it is her making things up in order to be taken home. I enjoy the nods and aspects of the original trilogy that are used, like a hand becoming infected, locking one of them in the basement and of course, the chainsaw. There are a couple parts of the story that I don’t like though. One of them really hurt the story for me and it involves a car battery.
Aside from that, I think the editing of this film is really good. The film doesn’t take long to get into it and it builds tension from the beginning. I like the opening of showing us what is happening to another family that overcomes it before getting us to the main story we are following. I thought the ending for the most part was good and it does somewhat keep in line with the other films in the series. This is a popcorn movie and with this last viewing, Jaime watched it with me. She is normally bothered by possession films, where this one didn’t have that effect.
The acting was okay. I really like Levy as an actress and thought she was good in her role. I definitely believed her as a junkie that is trying to recover. I know she is an attractive woman, but they do some great work to really temper that for the role. Fernandez comes off as a little bland to me. I wanted more from him. I’m just not a fan and his performance here was lacking. Pucci I thought fit his role as the jerk high school teacher. He is upset with David and I thought it helps build tension. This is really all his fault as well. For what he goes through, it is fitting. I thought Lucas was good as well. She is a nurse, but there was something that bothered me about her. She seems a little too uptight and combative. Blackmore didn’t really impress me; she kind of just fades into the back for a majority of this film. I also don’t like her yelling at the friends of David, she probably literally just met all of them and I don’t buy it. It is interesting is that Jaime falls in line here and stated things I hear in the horror community as well.
Something I really have to commend this film is on the effects. The original two films had blood and some gore, but this one tops it. This is really where it sets itself apart in that this one is much more focusing on the body horror and it looks good. I do believe there is some CGI in this film. Some of it didn’t hold up. This one definitely made cringe with how real some of the effects look. There is one thing that happens at the end that I don’t buy happening, but it does look pretty amazing. There is a lack of blood at certain times that I noticed with this most recent viewing.
I also found the soundtrack of the film to be good. The theme that is used is somewhat of a jump-scare and I found that to be interesting. During the climax it also sounds like they were using a tornado siren or an alarm of some sort. I like the vibe it gives the scene. I definitely think that the score of the film was fine and it helps to be the necessary tension for the scenes.
Now with that said, I don’t like this film better than any of the originals, but I do find this to be good still. I like that the direct and writer, Fede Alvarez, took something that was great and made some interesting changes. He brought enough of the story and things that happen as well. I like the concept of a junkie trying to sober up in a cabin in the woods when the evil gets unleashed. Focusing on the body horror was something that I also liked and the effects back up what they were going for. The editing builds the necessary tension that the film needs all the way to the climax and I thought the ending was good enough. The acting is okay. I really like Levy and thought the rest were just decent. The sound design of the film was fine. With that said, if you like the series, I think this film fits in pretty well for being different. It is pretty gory, so if that’s not what you’re into, I would avoid this. If that’s not an issue, I think this film is fun.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10