Friday, April 12, 2013

Evil Dead (2013)

Director: Fede Alvarez

Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The most terrifying film you will ever experience.

Plot: Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Eventually probably.

That tagline is a pretty fucking bold claim.  Too bad the finished product doesn't come close.  OK, maybe if you're 87 years old and the most terrifying film you've seen in your life was TWILIGHT (2008),  It's got some GREAT gore effects and there are some good creepy moments but as a whole I was left feeling like there was a whole bunch of teasing and then the last 20 minutes gave you what you were paying a ticket for.

I knew this wasn't going to be as good as the original 1982 picture.  That's a classic and it's got more terrifying bits in it than this new one does.  The tree rape scene is brutal.  The new film sets it up like there's a tree rape scene but they cheat you at the last moment.  It's remarkable that they couldn't do what the 30 year old film could.  Pussies.  The acting is good, though, and I like that the main character is trying to kick her drug habit.  That was a great move.  But the film moved along, giving you little bits here and there, feeling like there was something missing and then BAM!  The ending hits the fan.  This is the best part of the picture.  It's brutal and gory as hell and it's here that you really get a Sam Raimi, EVIL DEAD (1982) vibe.  But it's too much, too late to make this picture a modern day classic.

It's definitely worth catching at the theater (even though you just know there's going to be an unrated version on DVD), and when you go MAKE SURE YOU STAY UNTIL THE VERY END!  Fans of the franchise will be tickled to death.  I guess I lied earlier.  THIS is actually the best part of the film.  I was carrying on like a little kid at Christmas.  Very good score by Roque Banos, by the way.  And while this doesn't come close to straddling the line of playfulness and terror like the original, rarely catching up to the greatness of it all, it's a very good modern horror film that stands out among most of the crap-to-just-OK horror pictures coming out of Hollywood these days.  It's pretty darn good so you should see it regardless of how you feel about the original or if you haven't even seen it.  If not, watch them both and you're in for a treat.

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