How many times will directors be able to get away with filming a horror movie in a dilapidated, wooden cabin? This clichéd setting has far exceeded its film-by date, yet here in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead re-make it makes a return once again. Every horror ingredient has been thrown into the film and no effect is spared to ensure a truly grisly 90 minutes.
Harrowing and obscene from the start, Evil Dead features a preposterous amount of foul language. For director Fede Alvarez, who prior to this had only directed shorts, a remake of the 1981 cult horror classic may have been daunting. Consequently, the only criticism is the general feel of over-compensating confidence – hence the potty-mouthed demons from hell.
The storyline is all too familiar within the horror genre and the character’s fall into some wonderful typecasts: the useless blonde, the liability, the unintelligent geek, the caring nurse, and finally the action man who has a bizarre (and side-splittingly hilarious) penchant for gaffer tape.
The lead female, Mia (Jane Levy, Suburgatory) has gathered her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez, Red Riding Hood) and three friends at their late mother’s cabin to try to overcome her addiction to drugs. Cold-turkey ensues until a rather suspicious “Book of the Dead” is found in the basement of the cabin, and so it begins.
Alvarez makes sure there is no turning back, with gore in abundance, jumps, creepy lullabies and deliberate camera angles. There is no clever or imaginative twist to Evil Dead – the film remains predictable, horrific fun throughout. Levy does a stellar job as Mia, both convincing and downright scary – a pleasure to watch.
Evil Dead really has reached far beyond the usual status delivered by films of the same genre. Alvarez has made a convincing effort to combine the mutilation of films such as Saw and Hostel with the possession and demons of traditional horror. The effect will take some beating, and Alvarez can take pride in this.
With the film racing to a crescendo in the last fifteen minutes or so, once the hyperexcited audience has disentangled their fingers they will be thinking “that was one HELL of a cold turkey!”
Evil Dead is released in UK cinemas on 19th April 2013.
Watch the trailer for Evil Dead here: