Evil Dead ★★ 1/2
I remember as it was yesterday. The year 1985, I was a teenager on my way to see the “International Gore Film Festival” in Mexico City. I saw a movie that changed my life, because it made me love horror films even more: The Evil Dead (1981). It had it all: campy humor, scary demons, creative killings, stop-motion animation influenced by Ray Harryhausen and gore galore.
A thing that caught my attention is that Sam Raimi, an unknown 22-year old director from Michigan, directed it. The rest is history, today he is recognized worldwide and his movies have made $1,504,549,843. And Ash (Bruce Campbell) has become one of the coolest horror heroes in history. Raimi and Campbell themselves are involved in the remake as producers but it is Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez who directed it. He co-wrote the script with Diablo Cody (Juno). The results?
The movie starts with a teenager who is being chased by two rednecks who look like extras of the film Deliverance. When they catch her, we discover two things. First, they were their relatives and second, she was actually a witch. In order to kill her, the family ties her, burns her alive and blows her head with a sawed shot-gun. And they do it with the aid of a witch in a cellar full of dead cats, which happens to be the cellar of the infamous cabin.
Time passes by and a group of college kids visits the cabin. We have seen this scenario before in multiple horror films from Cabin Fever to Dead Snow. It is a recipe for disaster. This time the kids are not there to party, but to help Mia (Jane Levy) to go cold turkey on drugs. If she wants to escape she can not because they are on a secluded location. And sooner you can say “you are all going to die” someone messes with the Book of the Dead and literally unleashes hell. Mia is the first one to witness the demons, but when she shares this information, everyone thinks she is battling with her own demons. Until they see her possessed, but by then its too late. It’s the begging of their end.
The rest of the movie is extremely graphic mutilations and torture scenes,. Some are gruesome, some creative all ideal for horror buffs. The only thing Álvarez was not faithful of the original Evil Dead is the use of the lenses, camera movement, and sound design. Although he left “Easter eggs” throughout the film.
Overall, the new Evil Dead is not even close to the original, but is still worth checking out. After all, the only one who can top the original is Raimi and he is writing Evil Dead 4 this summer. And I will be the first one to see it.