With Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore, Jessica Lucas
Written by Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues (based on Sam Raimi's film "The Evil Dead")
Directed by Fede Alvarez
Based on Sam Raimi's legendary early-'80s low budget horror classic, from the get-go, even if you try, there is no way you can replicate that unique movie and it sequels. All you can do is try an reinvent it for a new generation.
All the basics are here – the scenario Raimi set in motion for many an imitation - a secluded cabin in the woods, a group of early-adults arrive and discover a mysterious, evil book, inadvertently resurrecting an ancient evil force that destroys them one at a time.
Almost all the seminal character-driven horror / fantasy movies have been remade, from Psycho, Night Of The Living Dead and Friday The 13th , to Halloween, A Nightmare On Elm Street and monster movies like King Kong (even secondary slashers like Prom Night and The Stepfather got reinvented – not to mention the many versions of Dracula and Frankenstein). The remake is the bane of many a purist fan's existence, who believe you shouldn't tamper with perfection (I might be one of them – owning a Book Of The Dead covered replica set of the first film on DVD) – but then there is the second part of “show-business” producers have to consider...
Even though this was produced by Raimi and star of the originals, Bruce Campbell, it was the often slapstick acting of Campbell and his Ash character's wise-ass personality that is the central crux of that legendary trilogy's attraction and mythology. Just like the Elm Street remake, that black humour of the original is gone, which is fine as replicating it would've been ludicrous – and the more slick non low-budget look (in contrast with the original Evil Dead's grimy 16mm aesthetic) leaves the movie stripped of its unique character, gritty look and audacious laughs.
This reworking doesn't however hold back on the blood and gore, but that being said, as you would have suspected, the poster's claim of this being the most terrifying movie you'll ever see, is a very bold claim. Having seen my fair share of horror movies over the decades, I did not experience that (although they managed a few good shocks and gruesome freak-outs), but if you're squeamish and not a regular to the genre, their warning may well ring true.
So, long story short – if you love The Evil Dead trilogy, nothing can take that away from you – so simply see this as a reinterpretation for a new HD generation that won't appreciate the first one's hardcore charm (like the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre). You may actually get a thrill out of this new rendition, but only if you leave comparisons at the door.
4 / B
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished