Deadites rejoice, “Evil Dead” is now in theaters, packed with plenty of soul-swallowing demons, disturbing imagery and of course, extreme amounts of blood and gory violence.
Fans of Sam Raimi’s trilogy of ‘Evil Dead’ films can experience a new blend of terror from first-time director, Fede Alvarez, while audience members unfamiliar to the beloved cult-horror franchise have the chance of seeing it from a fresh perspective.
The film can be viewed as a re-imagining instead of a remake, with references and throwbacks to the originals throughout but with a unique vision allowing it to stand tall on its own.
With a surprising opening sequence involving a possessed woman, the movie begins with an overhead camera angle of a vehicle making its way to a cabin deserted within the woods.
Mia (Jane Levy) is a young woman attempting to kick a drug addiction by going cold turkey with the help of her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), along with friends, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) who is a school teacher and Olivia (Jessica Lucas), a registered nurse.
It is revealed early on that Mia and David have a complicated relationship towards one another ever since the loss of their mentally ill mother during their childhood.
The background of these two siblings creates a solid structure for us to sympathize with and give their characters some true depth, showing that these aren’t just some boring college students looking to have a good time on spring break.
When the friends eventually discover a cellar door leading to a dark and mysterious basement, the pacing of the film reaches an all-time high and never proceeds to slow down.
Eric discovers the “Naturon Demonto” or roughly translated as “Book of the Dead,” which upon reading through it and ignoring several explicit warnings, he accidentally summons up a dormant demon.
Diehard fans will notice how Alvarez does a fantastic job of recreating shots, tossing in specific props and using throwback lines from the original films.
One of the most obvious inclusions would be that of Raimi’s shaky point-of-view camera that is updated and in full force this time around, which will send glee throughout the hearts of those who recognize it.
Once things get rolling the film never quite holds back, with each event that follows seeming more and more terrifying and gruesome than the last.
Every character is given their chance to shine; as things get worse and worse we get to see all of them make decisions that lead to some very intense and surprising moments.
Being able to see this movie in a theater is the best way to experience it.
Levy and Fernandez are equally fantastic as the two siblings who share the most screen time, with many twists changing the fate of their characters.
However, it is the acting and dialogue of Pucci that is truly brilliant throughout the film, providing much needed comic relief and ridicule as the idiot who got everyone stuck in this mess by reading passages in the book.
The visual effects in the film are absolutely stunning, as the creators went with prioritizing the use of practical gags rather than focusing on CGI, which not only adds a much more realistic look but also allows for some spectacular artistic value.
You should to keep in mind that even though posters of the movie are saying this is “the most terrifying film you will ever experience,” that doesn’t exactly mean it will be incredibly scary.
The tagline is simply an ode to the original, as that was what Sam Raimi and crew were hoping to make back in the day, this film can definitely be noted as much more splatterific and gory than scary.
There are a number of scenes which appeared to be cut to reach a contractually obligated ‘R’ rating, luckily in the near future you will be able to check out the unrated director’s cut and catch the film how it was intended to be in all its gory glory.
“Evil Dead” will literally rain 50,000 gallons of groovy, fake blood all over the place and is definitely a sight to behold with a very satisfying climax.
Whether you enjoy this film or the originals, make sure to stay a little bit longer for the post-credits stinger.