I remember when news spread on Evil Dead getting the remake treatment. You can hear horror fans all over the world collectively sighing in grief. Adding to the news that the Ash character would not be a part of the film only added to the uproar which bared the question, “How will this film work?”
After Evil Dead first hit the film fest circuit, it got glowing reviews across the board from horror sites and fans. Now that I’ve seen this film, I understand the love and I can assure fans, “It works.”
The simple plot of friends vacationing at a cabin in the woods is transformed to a story about friends getting together to create a makeshift rehab. Mia is finally ready to kick her drug habit and her childhood friends Eric and Olivia, distant brother David and his girlfriend Natalie are by her side to help.
When they enter the cabin they see that it’s been broken into and left behind are cult-like remains and the infamous Book of the Dead.
Eric becomes intrigued by the book, and even though it’s covered in barbwire with messages that clearly displays the words “Don’t Read Me,” Eric, of course, reads the book. He even goes out of his way to decipher words that are meant to be hidden. As an audience member it’s hard to not want to scream at the screen advising against his blatant stupidity, but we all know it’s all a part of the formula to set the carnage in motion.
Eric releases a demon which finds a home inside of Mia’s vulnerable body and bloody mutilation and the fight against possession begins.
Director Fede Alvarez took on a challenging task on re-imaging the original without tarnishing the love fans have for it. Throughout the film you can sense Alvarez’s loyalty to the original. He’s passionate about staying true to giving the audience a brutal experience backed up by an effective plot.
I found that little things like creaks in the doors and floors to add tension to scenes and nods to the original all added a certain charm to this film. Another thing I highly enjoyed was the bloody, gooey gore. Alvarez was intent on heavily relying on practical effects over CGI and his choice became another component which made this film work.
Evil Dead is a masterful homage to the rustic original. It has the ability to stand on its own without any need to nitpick comparisons to Raimi’s classic.
Evil Dead is in theaters today, so go see it and stay to the end of the credits!