¨No! You don't understand. There was something in the woods... and I think it's in here with us... now.¨
Hollywood has seemed to have run out of fresh ideas when it comes to making horror films and year after year they keep on bringing us either remakes of classic films or sequels. Evil Dead is perhaps one of the best known cult horror films of the 80´s, and Sam Raimi has decided to produce this remake of his original film. Other horror remakes are coming out this year (like Carrie) so I don’t think this will be a trend that is going to disappear anytime soon. Despite not being a horror fan I decided to watch this film because of newcomer Fede Alvarez, who made a name for himself in my home country of Uruguay with a music video titled Panic Attack where the capital city is completely destroyed by huge robots. Alvarez managed to accomplish this feat with a very low budget and he also directed some short films as well (El Cojonudo) which garnered the attention of some Hollywood people. Discovering Alvarez´s potential they decided to put him in charge of the direction of Evil Dead, a film he himself claimed to have been influenced by as a child. I don’t blame Alvarez for accepting this offer because anyone in his shoes would have done the same thing and it will probably help him grow in this industry, and perhaps in the future he will be able to produce his own personal projects. I appreciate the fact that Hollywood is looking for some outside talents, and in my opinion Alvarez doesn’t disappoint here. It´s impossible to remake a cult film like this and make it better, but somehow he manages to be unique in the midst of the predictability of the genre. He has proven to be very talented, but my problem with this film is that I really despise this genre so it was hard for me to criticize it fairly. I think these campy gory horror fests are all pretty much similar to each other and the only thing that really changes are the effects which over time become more realistic. This was just too gory for my taste and I never felt scared, only disgusted which isn’t something I look forward to in a movie. I´m not a fan of the Evil Dead franchise so I can’t honestly say if it lives up to the expectations of the fans.
The film is closely tied to the original film in that it involves a group of five friends who travel to a cabin in the middle of the woods and discover some mysterious book which summons the dead. Mia (Jane Levy) barely survived a drug overdose and her friends have decided to bring her to her family´s old cabin in order for her to recover. Her friends, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas), along with her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) promise to do what it takes to keep her in the cabin no matter how bad her craving for drugs gets. This isn’t the first time that Mia has suffered from a drug overdose, but her friends are determined it will be the last. Once they arrive at the cabin they smell a strange odor and find some dead animals in the cellar. Some kind of ritual has taken place and that is where Eric finds this strange book. He makes the big mistake of opening the book and reading out loud some strange passages. As soon as he does this something evil comes out of the woods and attacks Mia. That is where the horror begins to take place and all hell breaks loose. A storm prevents them from leaving and they are on their own against these evil forces.
Evil Dead is extremely gory, there is a lot of blood but hardly any scares. It also has some funny moments like in the original film, but it just didn’t work for me. A much better movie is Cabin in the Woods which does some interesting things breaking the genre and taking it to new places. This version is an interesting homage and some fans will probably enjoy it, while others will hate it. In my opinion Alvarez´s touch in this film makes it a little more tolerable, but I really don´t like these type of films unless there is some originality. The performances were pretty strong for a gory film, I enjoyed Jane Levy´s lead performance and Pucci also had some interesting and funny scenes. These characters are as stupid as pretty much every character we´ve seen in a horror movie. Who in their right mind would open a book like this and read the passages out loud in the middle of the woods? It is all part of the genre and we just have to play around with that fact. I really didn’t care for these characters either; it was hard for me to empathize with anyone of them. I never felt like I was being transported into the movie, but the effects were pretty realistic and well done. If you are a fan of gore you might enjoy this.