Blood. Buckets and Buckets of Blood. If you’re not okay with that, don’t watch this movie.
Evil Dead is a remake of the 1981 horror film which has reached cult status in the 32 years since it has been released. It launched the career of both director Sam Rami (director of the Spider-Man Trilogy) and star Bruce Campbell, setting an extremely high pedigree for this remake to follow.
It follows the story of five twenty-somethings who come across a demonic book that wreaks havoc on their lives.
The female lead, Mia, played by Suburgatory’s Jane Levy, is accompanied by her four friends to a cabin in the woods, with the intent of getting over her drug addiction by going quitting cold turkey.
When she becomes possessed by the demon that lives in the pages of the book, the others justify her increasingly strange actions by reasoning that it’s a result of her withdrawal.
The rest of the film follows the characters as they go through progressively grotesque situations. A personal favorite of mine involves Mia getting a little too close with a tree, and the completely over-the-top yet completely fun scene that follows.
Over-the top is a good way to describe Evil Dead, as other scenes involve slicing a tongue in half, an impromptu arm amputation, and a blood-caked brawl between Mia and the demon who has risen from the dead.
While there is definite tension throughout the film, the real scares come from the prevalent gore that is on display throughout the 92 minute running time. As a result of this, people who don’t find gore disturbing will likely not find this film scary, instead laughing at the indulgence of blood on screen.
This makes sense, as there were over 500,000 gallons of blood used in the making Evil Dead, setting a new precedence for horror film gore.
The acting fluctuates between being marginally passable to laughably bad, with far more than half of the dialogue being either unnecessarily shouted or whispered.
While bad acting is a horror movie staple, it’s still incredibly distracting at times to witness the stilted dialogue.
Going along with this, the characters continually make hair-brained decisions of mammoth proportions, disregarding common sense on a regular basis. It’s hard to find a modern horror film that doesn’t fall victim to this issue, however at least Evil Dead attempts to explain why the characters remain at the place where so many of their friends are dying.
All of this being said, Evil Dead still stands tall as among the better horror films made in recent memory. While this may not be the most prestigious list of acclaimed movies, it still deserves to be considered a success.
Evil Dead is a horror film that knows exactly what it is and exactly what it needs to do. It’s refreshing to see a movie so unapologetically take the audience on a ride unlike they have never been on before.
Qualms about the acting aside, go see Evil Dead, provided you have the stomach for it.