Horror / Reviews

Evil Dead (2013) Blu-Ray review (NSFW)

Evil Dead bluWhen her friends take her to a secluded cabin in the woods to detox from her drug addiction,  Mia finds that in her weakened state she is possessed by a demon bent on devouring the souls of her friends.

A remake of the 1981 cult classic, The Evil DeadEvil Dead manages to pull off the unbelievable; it somehow pays loving tribute to the original while going into some original territory itself.  The film manages to straddle that fine line between torture porn and exploitation film while being neither.  While I cannot say that it is a wholly original work, as it is a remake, it is quite different than many of the other films that the horror genre has passed along lately.  And I loved every minute of it.

While I quite liked the original film, it has been far too many years since I have seen it.  As it stands, I cannot compare and contrast the films in this review.  Let’s just say that this film manages to feel like the original while being it’s own monster.

After arriving at the cabin and getting somewhat settled in, the friends find a bunch of animals strung up in the basement.  While exploring, they find a book wrapped in a trash bag and tied with barbed wire.  Of course, one of the friends decides it’s a good idea to read from the book, thereby unleashing an evil spirit that takes control of Mia.  Believing that she is simply going through detox, they don’t believe anything is wrong with her until it is too late.

One of the first things I noticed about the film is how much Jane Levy looks like Summer Glau.  They could be sisters.  While this a neither here nor there point, I just figured I’d point out the resemblance.

As Mia slowly becomes possessed by the demon that her friend essentially impregnated her with, the friends begin to suffer gruesome fates.  And when I say gruesome, I actually mean it.  This film is rough.  In fact, this is probably one of the goriest films I have ever seen.  As I was watching it, I couldn’t help but question how they got away with as much as they did.  So this is fair warning to those of you with weak stomachs.  This film will probably make you squirm a lot.  I don’t have a weak stomach when it comes to horror films.  I have seen about all they can throw at me.  This film made me a little queasy a couple times.  Consider yourself warned if you decide to go into this.

evil deadThe acting by all the characters was actually pretty good and I applaud the filmmakers for not casting the most gorgeous people in Hollywood for this.  All of the characters come across as believable in their respective roles.  No matter how well they did, though, Jane Levy steals the show here.  After seeing her in this, I fully believe that she has a very bright future ahead of her.  She is an amazing talent that I cannot wait to see more from.  Hopefully she sticks to the horror genre, because that certainly needs more quality actors.

One of the only problems  I had with the film was the cinematography.  When I say problems, I mean that it was too pretty.  I feel that the film needed to have a gritty grain to it, like an older documentary.  For me, that would have sold the horror.  As such, I never actually found myself scared by the proceedings.  I found myself admiring the camera work and the shots and thinking about how lovely everything looks while people were being shot by nail guns.  That created a disconnect between me and the film and I could never overcome that to feel the horror that was transpiring on the screen.

On the other hand, the film was simply stunning.  The cinematography was gorgeous.  For a horror film, nay for a film in general, this is a pretty piece of work.  Aaron Morton filmed this with loving care and you can tell in every shot of the film.  It is certainly one of the prettiest films I have seen recently.  Not only was it lovingly filmed, but he mimicked some of the great photography that Sam Raimi and company have become known for.  Even though I haven’t seen the original film in over a decade, who can forget Raimi’s signature style?  When I saw the camera angles and whatnot in certain scenes, it brought a smile to my face and invoked that sense of nostalgia that you rarely get from a remake of a beloved, popular cult horror film.

One of the things that I loved about this film was it’s viciousness.  This is what I always imagined a demonic possession would be like.  Vicious.  Dirty.  Deadly.  Uncompromising.  While some of the characters simply walk off things that would have put them down for the count (nails shot through their arms, syringe under the eye, arms cut off, arms ripped off, etc.), I found that the sheer viciousness of the possessed Mia was something believable.  A demon would not he understanding and forgiving.  A demon would pull out all the stops to devour the souls.  Including playing on emotions, which they do here.  There were stomach churning moments that were less from the gore than from the emotional impact that simple words had on the characters.

I loved every minute of Evil Dead.  From it’s incredible viciousness to the wonderful portrayal of Mia by Jane Levy.  While I didn’t find myself terrified by the film as much as others, I did find it somewhat disturbing.  The amount of gore that they got away with in this film was also something of a surprise.  Just be prepared if you watch this.  Don’t eat your dinner as you’re watching this (I made that mistake).  Just be sure to check it out.  You will be entertained.

*** out of ****

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8 thoughts on “Evil Dead (2013) Blu-Ray review (NSFW)

      • haha well it’s your typical Nickelodeon style comedy. Romantic interest interrupted by younger sibling, antics ensue. I only watched it because I have a celeb crush on Victoria Justice but I guess you could find worse things to watch (like Amber Alert…)

      • I remember hearing it was actually a decent film. The way I see, any Halloween themed film is worth my time. I’ll have to give it a shot.

  1. I had some fun with this, but at the same time, it all felt too conventional and predictable for me. Not unlike the original. Good review Chris.

  2. Pingback: Evil Dead helmer to tackle Dante’s Inferno! | BIZZAM!!

  3. Great review. I got to say, I really enjoyed this movie. I was nervous going in that it wouldn’t honor Sam Raimi’s masterpiece, but thankfully it played plenty of homage to the original. While part of me does miss the humor, I don’t mind that much since I got plenty of action and gore.

    I finally got around to reviewing this movie on my own novice, review-blog. I could always use an experienced critic’s opinion to help me fine-tune my reviews. Check it out if you get the time.

    http://horrormoviemedication.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-evil-dead-no-more-messing-round-we.html#evil

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