Evil Dead (2013)
I know I usually only review books and movie adaptations of books, but since Evil Dead, being a horror remake, is drawn from existing geek material, I figured it was just as deserving of this geek’s perspective.
As in the original, a group of 20-something-aged friends go to spend a weekend in an isolated, dilapidated cabin in the woods. This time, instead of for fun, it’s for an intervention. One of them stupidly reads from the book of the dead, found in the cellar, and demons come to possess the women’s bodies and torment and kill the men amid fountains of gushing blood and other bodily fluids.
Also, there are angry molesting trees.
This is less a movie in its own right than an excuse to string together a series of nods to the fans of the original. This might not be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that the demons’ powers are altered and scaled back to an extent that is certain to annoy any fans of the original severely, so between geeks and newcomers, there’s really no one well-suited to fully enjoy this movie.
Its budget (being more than roughly zero) naturally eliminates a large portion of the charm of the original and offers little to make up for it. The reading from the book of the dead is even more ridiculous than most similar demon-raising scenes from similar movies, including the original Evil Dead, because there are no hints of outside forces affecting the characters’ behavior before the book is read.
It certainly embraces the “oh, dear god!” spirit of the original in its violence. Every fight sequence is as over-the-top graphic, drawn-out, creative, and downright gooey as a Sam Raimi legacy demands. This is one place where the budget does help a little. It shows in the effects (practical effects, for you purists), making the flying glass, nails, needles and body parts all the more effectively cringe-worthy. Jane Levy also gives a great performance as Mia, as the uncomfortably lifelike heroin-addict friend she is when she arrives, and as the main demon once the possessions begin.
It’s not the original by any means, but it offers some of a similar brand of fun.