Evil Dead Reviews
Before I hop right into the meat, bone, and bloody guts of Evil Dead (2013), I should state that when I watch a remake I look for what different steps it takes in comparison to the original. Too many remakes feel beat for beat similar with only special effects (name recognition money) giving it a reason to exist. Evil Dead (2013), however, thankfully brings some new organs to the body of the evil dead franchise.
Right from the start it is clear that this is a very different movie from the originals. I appreciate this a lot actually. While there are nods to the first two, it's not an exact carbon copy of The Evil Dead (1981). In comparison, Evil Dead (2013) is a more standard modern horror movie, but with a camera that is not shy to show bloody dismemberment. Just from that statement, you should be able to tell if this will be a movie for you.
The comedic parts like in The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, have no presence in this movie... which is good in its own way despite having evil dead attached to its title. Speaking of which, there's not much evil dead to Evil Dead (2013). Yes, there are the same stuff like the cabin in the woods, the Necronomicon, and the dreaded cellar, but the very nature of the evil is different. Replacing the ultra quick camera zooms that mirror the evil in the original two, is a larger focus on the cabin itself. To me, the cabin in the original always just felt like a place that was taken control be evil deadites, but in this it almost felt like it was the cabin itself that was spawning the deadites. A small difference, but every difference counts for me.
The entire cast of The Evil Dead (1981), in my opinion, were good. Each character was given time to show their personality and let the audience develop a bond with them before being ripped to shreds... as most good horror movies should. This is not the case of Evil Dead (2013), which happens to be one of its biggest fault. There's the junkie sister, the brother, the maybe nerdy guy(?), the nurse, and the girlfriend brought along for some reason. So much time is spent for developing the brother and sister characters that it makes the other friends almost have little to no purpose. Jane Levy, who I had previously seen in Don't Breathe (2016), plays Mia (the sister). Levy is given a lot of development to her character, and rightfully so considering how great she is in this movie.
Moving on to the plot of Evil Dead (2013), it's the same as before, in some ways, but not entirely. Whereas in The Evil Dead (1981), five friends go to a cabin to have a fun weekend partying, Evil Dead (2013) has a darker turn with four friends (and one random girlfriend) go to a cabin to help Mia go through her withdrawals. A subtle change that I appreciate. I'm also glad the book of the dead wasn't read aloud the same way as before because I couldn't see that working in this setting.
You'll notice the small changes that Evil Dead (2013) has to make it collectively a different movie, but really the main thing that makes it stand out from the rest is GORE. I can't even begin to explain how excruciatingly painful it was to watch some of the bloodiest scenes in this movie. That's not to say that it's bad gore, it's glorious gore done right to where it'll make you uneasily shrivel up in disgust. It will definitely not appeal to everyone, for sure. To me, this is the main thing that makes Evil Dead (2013) special as opposed to the comically gory The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead 2. Still excessive with copious amounts of blood, Evil Dead's (2013) gore is downright disgusting and as real as it could get.
It seems like I've praised this movie quite a lot, which would make my 3.5/5 rating not make much sense. Along with the underdeveloped cast, the main problem I had with Evil Dead (2013) was that it lack a charming lead to get behind. Jane Levy was good, but not she, or any of the other actors, were given much of a personality. Yes, it would be wrong to try to recreate Ash Williams, but this type of story needs someone like Ash to root for. Whoever is supposed to lead the story doesn't have to be sarcastic or cynical like Ash, but instead have some other sort of unique trait. It made my watching experience quite a bummer because there is no tension when you don't like your characters...
...up until the last 20-30 minutes. Yeah, chances are you've heard this before, but the last 20-30 minutes are absolutely insane, something that I didn't see coming in the way that it did. It's absolutely glorious, and really brings the story back to form of the original trilogy. Just for that scene, my rating grew by a half point.
Evil Dead (2013) is not a whole like The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and obviously nothing at all like Army Of Darkness... and it's for the best. Though it suffers from its characters heavily, the use of gore and minor changes make it a different viewing experience for Evil Dead fans. So this brings up the remake existence question again; Is there a reason for this remake to exist and does it bring anything new to the table? In short, yes. It's not a perfect movie, or not even a great movie, but I think it fits comfortably into the Evil Dead franchise. I'm sad to say that I can't see myself buying it on blu-ray/watching it again, but I am glad I finally got around to watching it.
I give Evil Dead (2013) a 3.5 out of 5.