Through the years I have always been told that the original “Evil Dead” was a classic horror film. But I’ll be honest, I was pretty skeptical to watch after hearing something about tree rape; it didn’t really sound like something that I’d want burned into my memory for eternity. As time passed, I had less and less opportunities arise to see the original film and to this day I never have. Instead, an opportunity arose for me to see the 2013 remake of the same name. I was skeptical about this one too, especially since I am not usually a fan of remakes or reboots, but there’s definitely something to be said about this one.
Originally, I was shown the trailer for “Evil Dead (2013)” and it definitely gave me the creeps. I am one of those really wussy horror film viewers, so I was unsure I even wanted to embark on watching it. After much coaxing, I put on my big girl pants and dove in – I was not disappointed.
Fair warning: spoilers ahead.
The film begins with a bang but gives no real context as to what you are viewing. There’s a lot of crazy voodoo-esque moments occurring on screen, with some strange callbacks to the original Exorcist film – possessed crazy chick with a father trying to make her better. Despite the mystery, it’s a very tense, creepy scene and manages to suck you in a little bit.
Then we jump to what seems to be present day where a group of teens (adults? adults playing teens?) is gathering together at a cabin in the woods to help one of them get through a weekend of dope sickness. It’s a very plausible situation until they step foot in the seemingly dilapidated cabin that clearly needs some maid service. Throughout the movie, the condition in the cabin became one of my biggest complaints. It’s not the cleanliness that is necessarily the issue, but rather the story that unfolds about the cabin’s history and relation to siblings Mia (Jane Levy) and David (Shiloh Fernandez). It is made clear to us at some point that they once lived there with their mother who is now dead. The two siblings bicker off and on about not being around for their mother’s death and even have a photo that doesn’t look all that old. Why then does this cabin look like it has been empty for the last 30 years? I know it’s in the woods in the middle of nowhere, but let’s be real, it wouldn’t look that bad in such a short time. Overall, that aspect just irked me quite a bit. Maybe I’m wrong about that though. Let me know in the comments if you disagree.
Moving on, the creep factor definitely ramps up quite a bit. I have to say, that once Mia chases after the girl and gets violated by the tree, I definitely felt my heart rate go up. From there on out we have possessed Mia torturing her brother and friends to no avail and despite the cheesiness at times, it definitely gets pretty grotesque. That said, I determined later that it wasn’t so much the possession that was creepy, or even the possession of the other characters, but rather how gruesome everything became. Definitely not a movie for the faint at heart.
The two scenes that got to me the most was when Mia was trapped in the basement and trying to get out and the box cutter. The blank, demonic stare cuts right into your soul and makes you feel a little uncomfortable – or maybe that’s just because I’m such a scaredy cat. The box cutter scene hit me on a personal level because I used one of those every day at the time, and watching someone slice open their tongue with one made my stomach turn a little. It made me look at those blades differently from there forward.
The gruesomeness definitely doesn’t stop there. At every turn the writers found a way to torture and maim the group. Up to the end of the film, it’s a complete bloodfest. If you’re into that sort of thing, this is definitely a great watch.
I only had a few real complaints about the film overall, aside from the cabin’s lack of cleanliness. The first one is that the characters don’t really seem to be anything special. The one character you don’t want to die is the reason they got into the mess in the first place – Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci). As an avid book reader I can honestly say that no one reads out loud like that unless they are in elementary school. Also, when a book has warnings scrawled in what appears to be blood telling you not to do something, you don’t do it. No one is really that dumb… except this guy who is supposed to be the scholar of the group. Bad character development on that front, for sure.
Aside from Eric, the rest of the characters kind of suck too. There was never a moment that I really cared if any of them lived or died. Maybe that’s the point though. If you have no attachment to the characters, are you really going to care if they die? In fact, as the viewer, it may make their deaths even better because you kind of want them off screen anyways.
Speaking of their deaths, that brings me to my next complaint: the absolutely confusing zombie-like demonic possessions. I can honestly say that I don’t ever think that I have watched a film with demonic possessions chalked up to some odd zombie-like process. The ways they became possessed could definitely have been way more creative than that. I kept waiting for one of them to say “braaaaaaiiiiins….”. This really left room for improvement. That said, was it like that in the original? If so, was it done better than that? I kept waiting for Rick Grimes to show up and off everybody.
Finally, I have to say that I couldn’t stand how many fake endings the film had. It’s one thing for a film to give it a little bit of a twist ending by making you think the story is over and then it has one last final epic scene that turns out to be the true ending. I can be cool with that. But what were they thinking with this one? It had like 30 different endings in the final half hour of the movie. Okay, so maybe not 30, but way too damn many. I can live with the other factors in the film that kind of sucked, but it gets to a point as a viewer that you’re just ready for it to be over. I know the ending had a few nods to the original, but it was overkill, no pun intended.
Overall, “Evil Dead (2013)” wasn’t half bad. It had pretty good effects with several of them being cheesy callbacks to the original But they were well-done and didn’t detract from the product as a whole. If you’ve never seen the original and you’re looking for a decent, gory time, I’d definitely recommend this one. If you’ve seen both films and have anything you’d like to add, drop a comment and give us your opinions!