Movie Review: Evil Dead

Horror fans hold The Evil Dead franchise in the highest regards. The campy, blood and guts films beginning with The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and the more mainstream Army of Darkness were all flops at the box office. Yet they have become horror classics. Bruce Campbell’s Ash became a cult hero with his chainsaw and boom stick and director Sam Raimi went on to direct the Spiderman franchise. Since the films were held in such high esteem from horror fans, I was surprised to see such buzz and excitement around the new remake Evil Dead. Could this remake be deemed a worthy ode to the original splatterfest from the 80s?

Evil Dead has a familiar start with a group of friends heading to a secluded cabin in the sinister forest to help their friend Mia (Jane Levy) detox. That is until the group finds the Necronomicon in the basement and decide to do some light reading. ‘The Book of the Dead’ awakens the evil demons resting in the forest that begin to take over the groups’ minds, bodies and souls one by one.

Evil Dead does not shy away from the gore factor what-so-ever. If severed limbs, nail guns and needles freak you out, this isn’t the movie for you. But if you’re a sick puppy like me and love a good scare or delightful squirm — you’ll get a kick out of Evil Dead. The film doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to the amount of blood spilled or the gruesome acts that are depicted on-screen.

The real surprise for me with Evil Dead was the performance of Jane Levy as Mia. Mia is the first of the group to have initial contact with the demonic spirit. Most people know Levy as the girl from Suburgatory that reminds us of Emma Stone. In Evil Dead Levy gets to show you a whole other side of her acting abilities in the role of Mia. Levy gets to play the victim, a vile villain and eventually the hero. The rest of the cast are interchangeable bleeders, but Levy brings it with her different incarnations of Mia.

Evil Dead turns up the creep factor right off the bat and never lets up with the dark and twisted force lurking in the woods. I loved that just when I thought things were concluding, the action and gore would fire back up again. Fans of the original will love the hidden Easter eggs of nostalgia in Evil Dead that pays homage to original franchise. Just don’t expect some big twist ending like in Evil Dead II, but I do suggest waiting through the credits. I do think there is a chance this new Evil Dead may be linked to the universe of the original franchise more than producers lead us to believe with the whole remake label. Overall I give Evil Dead 3 sliced potatoes out of 4.

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