FILM REVIEW: Evil Dead
Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
The horror film horror fans have been talking about ever since its announcement has finally arrived. This much anticipated remake/sequel to Sam Raimi’s 1981 film The Evil Dead that never almost was is here and it definitely delivers. The film is also produced by Raimi himself as well the star of the original Bruce Campbell. Fede Alvarez steps up to the plate as director for Evil Dead (2013) in his first feature length film, after impressing producer Raimi with his short Panic Attack!
The plot of the film is very familiar to fans of the original with a surprisingly pleasant twist. In a remote cabin, five friends find themselves in a whole heap of mess when the gang stumble across the Naturum Demonto aka the Book of the Dead which conjures up an evil presence, which is out to kill them all. The twist comes in the form of their purpose for being at the cabin. Instead of the horror cliché of them going for a weekend of partying, the group is there is so they can help junkie Mia get off drugs. This is a fiendishly good plot device as later in the film the group mistake Mia’s behaviour and ramblings as her simply going cold turkey. It’s a device that works really well and it’s refreshing to see.
The cast consists of Mia (Jane Levy), who is the sister of David (Shiloh Fernandez) who wears a recognisable blue shirt. This is a nice little nod to the original. The medic of the film Olivia (Jessica Lucas) is accompanied by the teacher Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), oh and there is David’s girlfriend there too – she’s the blond one who doesn’t say much (Elizabeth Blackmore). The cast are very impressive in their respectable roles. Jane Levy in particular pulled out all the stops, her character goes through a lot and Miss Levy does an awesome job at portraying Mia. Shiloh Fernandez (David) plays the protective brother role well yet never stumbles into cheesy territory, which came as a relief. Lou Taylor Pucci delivered a fine performance as Eric the character who unknowingly brings upon the evil. His remorse at his actions is intensely real and believable.
The film consists of what you would expect, gore, masses of blood and screaming. The decision to keep the film old school and use practical effects, refraining from the use of computer graphics for its gore meant the visuals had to be good. In my opinion they are not only good but believably good. This may not bode well for the squeamish as ultimately it means there are some pretty intense shots of the gore and knife licking.
Alvarez keeps us on our toes by not clearly choosing a hero, which means we are going back and forth between characters. This adds an element of unpredictability that is rarely seen in horror films these days. Alvarez definitely respects the work of Raimi and of the original film. He tries and succeeds at bringing the retro style into the 21st century and has crafted a film that is both gore filled and thoroughly entertaining at the same time.
As a fan of the original I hate to admit I was sceptical at first. The first trailer quickly changed all that and I was very excited to see it. The film is a triumph from start to finish and a certain cameo post credits made me smile from ear to ear. With a sequel now already in development I have to say I’m already excited about. Alvarez has created a film that is very faithful to the original yet doesn’t relent at treading new ground. I give this new chapter in the world of the evil dead a huge decapitated thumbs up!
Evil Dead is in cinemas now! Check out the trailer below!