Evil Dead is one of those mythical cult films that everyone talks about in hushed awe, but it somehow escaped me. After finally watching it on Netflix, I have to say – I was not impressed. I walked into this remake with very low expectations and was surprised by how much I liked this movie. It is the rare remake that surpasses the original in most ways that matter, except one – there’s no Bruce Campbell.
I will never understand why people go into the woods. If movies taught us nothing, it’s nothing good ever comes from a trip to the woods. Nothing good comes from Robots and AI either. This time out a group of friends get together to do an intervention for their friend Mia (Jane Levy from the TV Series Suburgatory and Shameless) has issues. The five friends promise not to leave the cabin, no matter what happens, until she’s clean. So when the junkie starts doing and saying crazy “junkie” things no one is going to budge. It is a great way to provide an excuse to force these people to stay in this cabin when all common sense says get the heck out of dodge.
Another thing movies have taught us, is NEVER read Latin text out loud. Especially if it’s in a book that clearly says “I’m evil” and lots of writing that says “Do not read any further.” The fact that it was the resident “History Teacher” Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) that does the deed of waking up the dead.
Shiloh Fernandez (best known from Jericho) plays David, Mia’s brother and takes on the “Ash” like role of the unlikely hero. All of his actions are actually fairly logical and I actually rooted for David to survive this. Alverez does a great job with the affects and the movie does not go as over the top or really goofy like the original does.
The movie was written and directed by “first timer” Fede Alvarez. One of my favorite screenwriters Diablo Cody (wrote Juno one of my favorite films) also co-wrote this. This movie feels more sure-footed and plot driven than Sam Raimi’s original. However it is missing the grit, fun, dedication and pure knowing camp that turned the first Evil Dead into such a beloved cult hit.
Most of today’s horror films “fail” because they have become too self aware and condescending. This movie does not go in that direction, while it is a “serious” film, it is not overtly so. These are just people trying to help their friend. It is a weirdly wholesome movie as it is missing a lot of the horror trappings like sex, nudity, drinking, etc. At the end of the day, at least Mia’s clean…..
Final Grade B