Home > Evil Dead (2013) - 8 > Evil Dead – 8

Evil Dead – 8


Director – Fede Alvarez

Cast – Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore, Phoenix Connolly

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Well here we have it – one of the most hyped and anticipated horror films in decades, Evil Dead.  Originally marketed and perceived to be a remake of Sam Raimi’s Bruce Campbell-starring 1981 classic, The Evil Dead, this experience instead breaks new ground in the Evil Dead saga and leaves you not only gasping for air but marveling at how they got away with so much violence.  After suffering a near-fatal drug overdose, Mia, her brother David, and three of their closest friends head to Mia and David’s childhood cabin to stage one final intervention to rid Mia of her nasty drug habit.  While exploring the cabin they find an old book bound in human flesh, and after reciting the book’s demonic incantations they unwittingly unleash a demon that consumes them one by one in the most horrific experience to take place there since a bumbling Ashley J. Williams defeated the demon 30 years prior.

The Fede Alvarez / Diablo Cody-written story takes off quickly, delivering our protagonists to the cabin after a short demon-fueled introduction. A short developmental phase introduces the characters, with the only notable points being Mia and David’s strained relationship resulting from his previous abandonment of his sister after losing their parents, and his abandonment of their three friends as well. It is obvious that Mia has a serious problem with drugs when her withdrawals kick in, but nothing prepares the friends for what happens next. Dead set on deciphering the contents of the Book of the Dead they found in the creepy cellar, Eric reads a passage that unleashes the same demon Ash battled decades prior, this time possessing the weak Mia via a very uncomfortable method, one paying homage to an infamous scene in The Evil Dead. Her transformation begins immediately, but her uninformed friends believe the girl who claims something is “in” the cabin with them is simply suffering from her withdrawals, but when harrowing carnage begins to surface around them they come to the realization that their problems have no relation to Mia’s drug addiction. The rest of the film focuses on their quest for survival as the friends “turn” one by one and maniacally attack the remaining souls, dishing out brutal punishment that had me squinting my eyes on numerous occasions. The horror written into the film was fantastic and it came in a very gory fashion, focusing heavily on dismemberment and other ways to make the viewer squirm in their seat.

Director Fede Alvarez made a name for himself with this debut feature film, and I can see him achieving a lasting career in the genre if he can keep dishing out hard-hitting films like this one. From the get-go my movie bro and I were immediately marveling at Alvarez’s atmosphere and execution of the introductory scene – sucking us in from then on out. His execution of the characters was better than expected, with actress Jane Levy doing a fantastic job as Mia. Her role was brutal, with her starting off as a kind soul, then a violent soul when her withdrawals kicked in, then a POSSESED soul as well as a tortured one fighting to keep herself together despite the horrific events going on around her. We received positive performances from all involved, but Jane Levy made me proud. Earlier I mentioned the atmosphere during the opening sequence, and Alvarez ensured that atmosphere stuck around by making great use of shadows and every creepy little corner of the spooky cabin. Of course, this film experience would be nothing without his excellent execution of the horror. Alvarez does not hold anything back, beginning with the possession scene shown in a full-frontal fashion and slowly building in severity as the runtime grows. The kills were not overly creative, and thanks to his direction they did not need to be. We are exposed to severe amounts of live-action gore, and these effects come during scenes that are already hard to watch due to the severity of the horror – which adds even more insult to those who think CGI gore is enough these days. Also, I must say that I cannot really explain to you how severe the gore is in this piece, especially for an R-rated film. By the time the final sequence comes the ground outside the cabin is literally saturated with blood, possibly making this the Dead Alive of this decade. There are lots of chills and thrills for the viewer to enjoy thanks to Alvarez’s direction, and I applaud him for leaving me with a lasting smile and a respectable, worthy addition to the Evil Dead franchise.

Overall, Evil Dead is a tremendous effort from Fede Alvarez and producers Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Rob Tapert, the initial trio behind The Evil Dead. The story will not win any awards, but it breaks new ground in the series and comes with additional elements not seen in any of the previous films. This effort has the potential to bring the series back to light and hopefully bring back Ash as well. The direction is solid and it makes for one of the most brutal and amazing horror experiences in recent years, making this the best horror film of the year (so far) and one I suggest you see as soon as possible.

Rating: 8/10

…Additional Stills…

“The Classic”, Ash’s Oldsmobile from the first three films, makes an appearance!

I really mean it when I say the film is heavy in gore.

The book has changed and isn’t as scary, but the results are the same – demon carnage.

You already know where this is going…

One of the homages to The Evil Dead.

“So THIS is how I’m going to get all of my friends killed…”

JOIN US.

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  1. April 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Hi, John. I have been anticipating this review. I was strongly opposed to re-make of Evil Dead, but the previews make it seem that the makers somewhat stuck to the feel of the original film. I am curious about the re-make, especially since you report it avoids the CG gore. Even in the previews it appears that make-up artists followed the original demons. I first saw Evil Dead in my teens, and wanted to squeeze my eyes shut during certain horrific scenes, but finding them completely glued to the screen. The second time I watched it, I had some wine in the system and was obnoxiously yelling at characters to not open the book or open the cellar door. As we all know, no good comes from these decisions in a horror movie.

    • April 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      haha very true. sorry for the late response, things have been busy. i think you will enjoy this movie thanks to it coming off in the same overall feel as the first one, but it is definitely not as good as the first. if anything it is just gorier.

  2. April 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    It was an admirable remake, definitely lots of fun. Great review and awesome site, I am now following. I recently started my own film blog and would love for you to check it out.

    • April 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you for the read. I checked out your blog and will keep up with your reviews as well.

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