Evil Dead (2013)

evil dead 2013 poster movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visual: 8/10

Decent visuals

Soft relaunch of The Evil Dead feels repetitive of the other films but lacks the fun

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Evil Dead

Studio:  Ghost House Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  March 8, 2013 (SXSW Film Festival)/April 5, 2013 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

evil dead burning exorcism

You know it is working because you feel the burn

Mia Allen (Jane Levy) is recovering from the death of her mother and trying to break her drug habit at a retreat with her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and her friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) at their family cabin.  When they discover a strange ritual set-up in the basement and a book coated in skin, Eric accidentally unleashes a demon from the forest.  The demon possesses Mia and rapidly spreads among the others.  Now, the demon is trying to break free and needs their souls to do it.

Directed by Fede Alvarez, Evil Dead is a remake (or even a soft reboot) of the horror series which began with The Evil Dead in 1981.  The film was relatively well received and excelled in the box office.

Tree rape “yawn” again…

While The Evil Dead was a low budget, high energy experimental horror film loaded with dark comedy, this movie is bigger budget and more serious.  I loved The Evil Dead…and despite being an ok horror film, I don’t think that this quite ranks as an Evil Dead film because of the tonal change of the film.

The problem with the soft relaunch of the series is that it does feel like watching The Evil Dead again at many points and you often know what is coming.  Many of the jumps, scares, and even some of the gore are in the same places, and it feels a bit redundant if you are very familiar with the first film.  Things like the tree rape are no longer shocking or unexpected (and the first rape was much more hardcore).  With the redundancies, I had a harder time getting into the movie.  The switch to the more serious horror takes a lot of what made The Evil Dead special.  Both movies were gory, but The Evil Dead just had a fun feel to it.  With so many gory horror films, Evil Dead just feels like another one.  It is a good version of this genre, but I wanted an Evil Dead film.

evil dead self mutilation jessica lucas

This makes it easier to visit the dentist

The cast is not too bad and better than a lot of typical horror film casts of this nature.  Jane Levy has the heavy lifting of the film as both the possessed character and a character fighting a drug addiction…her character gets most of the abuse as a result.  I feel Shiloh Fernandez is a little bland as the “Ash” stand-in, but I do like the Lou Taylor Pucci character (though he is a complete idiot).  I do not feel you get a good enough read on Jessica Lucas since she is eliminated quickly.  The classic Bruce Campbell tie to the series is reinforced by a short post-credit scene (and his classic car makes a cameo as well).

The movie does look good however.  The shooting style and some of the imagery presented in the movie are good leaps and bounds above Sam Raimi’s low-budget take on the movie which has its own charm.  The “possessed” also are quite creepy and the decision to often use practical make-up effects instead of a lot of computer imagery does help make them a bit more real than some other films of the genre.  While The Evil Dead was gory at points, this ups the gore level as well.

evil dead mia monster ending jane levy

I’ll swallow your soul!

Evil Dead isn’t a bad film, but I’d prefer a true sequel to the last film Army of Darkness.  To return to a more gory style of film after the light Army of Darkness doesn’t quite work in some ways.  Edgier, gorier, and grittier are necessarily what The Evil Dead was about, and feels more like Cabin Fever (which was heavily influenced by by The Evil Dead).  I did soften to the movie upon a second viewing, but I still feel it misses the mark and the point of the movie in ways.  A planned sequel to this movie never came to fruition, but the Evil Dead did return in the three season series Ash vs. Evil Dead which returned to the more comic roots.

Related Links:

The Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn (1987)

Army of Darkness (1992)

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response