For the sake of writing an unbiased review, i will put away my fanboy hat and put on my slightly more professional critic hat. I’ve made it no secret that I quite enjoyed this movie and may have gone out and bought it the day it was released to blu-ray (maybe I bought a steel book, maybe I didn’t). Though I’m not a remake hater at all, I’m still pretty cautious when I approach them. I’ll admit, I was an early doubter. When it was first announced that they were doing a remake and that *GASP* there would be no Ash character I was in the center of the remake hater mob, brandishing pitchfork and torch, ready to take all comers. “How dare they touch this masterpiece” I thought “one of the true classics of the genre. Is nothing sacred?” And then, like most things, as the hype around the initial announcement faded away and the collective internet fandom put their rage on the back burner, I too put this news in the back of my mind. Then the trailers slowly started to be released and I realized that our fears may have actually been unfounded.
Evil Dead feels through and through like it was made by someone who not only has respect for the original and what it did for the genre, but understands the fine line they trod in taking on a remake. All the interviews I’ve watched with Fede Alvarez are evidence to this fact, not to mention the men who made the original gave Alvarez their stamp of approval when they chose to have him direct a remake of the film that made them the icons they are. He genuinely seems to understand how hurt the horror community has been by the glut of sub-par cash grab remakes *cough* Platinum Dunes *cough* that have absolutely flooded the market in the last decade. Seemingly with that in mind he has crafted a movie that in my opinion does it very good job keeping the spirit of the original alive while injecting a whole lot of adrenaline and steroids to bring the gore up to todays (sometimes too high) level. The lack of digital effects in Evil Dead is refreshing and I was surprised to find that things that i thought for sure were CGI were in fact just good old fashioned camera and editing tricks.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, onto the not so good aspects of the movie. Firstly and most significantly, Mia is nowhere near as much of a “hero” character as Bruce Campbells’ Ash was/is. With that said, I do realize that’s kind of an unfair statement when you consider NO ONE is quite like The Great Chin. Still, for a main character she is lacking in some essential elements, namely being likable. This may be due more to her character spending 90% of the movie as either a junkie or a demon though and with recent confirmation that a sequel is in the works we will hopefully see the more human, charismatic side of Mia. My only real worry with the sequel actually lies in this character and whether or not she will be able to effectively act as the thread that ties the two (and hopefully three!) movies together.
Another minor quibble lets say was that even for a sexy-twenty-somethings-trapped-in-a-cabin movie some of the stuff that happens is pretty unrealistic. Without spoiling too much, one scene in particular comes to mind where a nail gun is used by one of the characters to defend themselves MINUS an air compressor. Yes, yes suspension of disbelief and all that jazz, but unless I’m mistaken that is a key component in propelling the nail out of the gun. As well, the ending (as Slayer-ific as it is, and it is) is kind of disappointing for all of the setup that takes place (and for fans of the original series who know how much more hell could have been loosed) and kind of feels like they used all the really good idea’s in the rest of the movie. Also, a car battery? Really?
In the grand scheme of things though, the good outweighs the bad here by at least a few hundred pounds (of flesh!). Unless you are the staunchest, most stick in the mud, we can only ever have one Evil Dead fanboy/girl, I think you’ll walk away from this re-something satisfied and hopefully, as I was, excited to see what more Alvarez can do with this franchise now that it has a more modern iteration. Go check this blood drenched trip back to every ones favorite cabin out now that it’s available for non-illegal home viewing.
Solid review. It’s a fun movie that loves using all of the blood and gore they can, but there is a lot left to be desired in terms of story and scares.