Evil Dead (2013) – Review (SXSW)
Evil Dead ushers in the the return of the splatter movie! From the opening sequence all the way through to the end, Evil Dead delivers the blood and guts like no horror film has since the ‘80s. First time Director, Fede Alvarez took on a film loved my millions and created the splatter swan-song of this generation, much like Sam Rami did before him.
Most horror fans will be familiar with the story. A group of pretty twenty-somethings head to a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere and accidentally summon an evil entity living in the nearby woods. The story is pretty close to the original except for the fact that the aforementioned twenty-somethings are there to help one of their own kick her drug habit cold turkey. Also gone is the campy feel of the original, but in its place is buckets of blood and traditional tried and true scares that work on almost every level. Where this film fails is in the script by Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues Mendez, and Diablo Cody (who apparently did a polish on it). It’s not a bad script, but there are moments that could have been better executed from a story standpoint. With that said, Evil Dead still kicks all sorts of ass.
Taking the spotlight is Alvarez’s direction and work with his actors. The visuals are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen in a horror film and the mostly practical effects are cringe inducing. Top that off with the incredible performances he wrangled from his young cast and Alvarez is going to quickly make his way to the top of the Hollywood ladder.
Lou Taylor Pucci owns the role of Eric, the film’s most charismatic character. His attitude and levelheadedness make him easy to identify with. Jane Levy takes the role of Mia to more dark places in one movie than most characters get to go throughout multiple sequels. The entire cast brought their A game.
Fans of the original are going to be happy to see familiar gags like the “tree rape” scene, but might be taken back when some of the effects make them sick to their stomach. Also, returning are the camera gags Raimi used to fly through the forest, only now this gag is much more harrowing.
If you’re a fan of horror and long for the glory days of the splatter film, then do yourself a favor and run to the theater on April 5th to support real, unfiltered horror by seeing Evil Dead.