Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Evil Dead (2013) DVD Review

Evil Dead 
Director: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Retail: $30.99
Running Time: 91mins.
Rating: R


On a summer afternoon in the mid-90s, I found myself bored to death, so I started flipping through the channels, and I came upon a newly added channel, Sci Fi Channel (now known as SyFy), which was airing a campy movie with Bruce Campbell fighting demons with a shotgun and a chainsaw. I checked the TV Guide (yep, back then they actually had a listing for the daytime) and I learned the name of the movie - Army of Darkness. While visiting the city, I found a VHS copy of Army of Darkness at a Best Buy. I read the back of the box-cover and learned something else - the movie was the third part of a trilogy called Evil Dead. Of course this got me excited, so I hunted through the horror shelves and found Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn. I bought both the VHSs (well my parents did since I was underage at the time). Weeks later I rented the first movie at a video store and I later bought it on VHS the following year. That being said, I watched the Evil Dead trilogy backwards!

Due to a family emergency, I missed out in seeing the remake/reboot/sequel (or whatever you want to call it) on the big screens this past spring, but I did buy it on DVD this summer and my expectations were pretty high.

In the 2013 version, Mia (played by Jane Levy) is a heroine addict trying one last time to become free of her demons with the aid of her friends, Eric (played by (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (played by Jessica Lucas), her brother David (played by Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), at her family's remote cabin deep in the woods.

Soon after arriving, a foul smell leads them to the cellar, where they come across rotten animal carcasses, a shotgun and a strange book titled Naturom Demonto, AKA  the Book of the Dead. Eric makes the deadly mistake of reading a passage from it, which summons a horrifying demon.

Mia become paranoid, believing that something is coming to get her and of course everyone thinks it is just the heroine withdrawal. She gets in the station wagon and tries to get away from the cabin, but she sees a demonic version of herself in the road and she crashes the station wagon into a flooded ditch. She crawls out of the car in the attempt to return to the cabin, but vines become animated, sexually assaulting her. Before she does reach the cabin, the demon fully possesses her.

Not knowing what to do, David and the others lock Mia inside the cellar, but that will not stop the evil forces from killing them one by one. When five deaths have occurred, the demon (Abomination) will rise from the ground.

Evil Dead serves as a remake, but at the same time it is still a continuation to the original trilogy. Almost all the plot points from the first two movies are used for the 2013 film, including two characters removing their own hand, one by using an electric knife and the other by yanking it off. And of course there is a double-barreled shotgun. Obviously, the special effects are superior to the originals and all the comedy bits from Army of Darkness is completely missing, making Evil Dead (2013) into a dark, twisted, splatterpunk horror film.

After reading a few horrible reviews from fans of the original, I still had high hopes for the reboot. Did I like it? You bet I liked it, though I still prefer the original trilogy. I'm not for sure what people were complaining about as the movie followed the original plot and added tons of blood and gore. I do wish Bruce Campbell had more of a proper cameo besides the five-second appearance post credits scene, but I guess the producers are saving Ash's return for Army of Darkness 2, followed by Evil Dead 7. Are you confused yet? Well, there are plans in the works to have a sequel to the reboot, a fourth entry with Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness 2) and a seventh movie which will be a crossover with Ash and Mia.

1 comment:

  1. 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.


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