Get out your skin-bound books and blood-caked chainsaws, we're reviewing Evil Dead!
Four friends escort Mia(Jane Levy) to a remote cabin in the woods so she can quit her coke addiction cold turkey in privacy. Unfortunately they find remnants of what looks to be witchcraft, and when someone reads from an evil book THAT CLEARLY SAYS DON'T READ IT I MEAN GEEZ IT'S WRITEN IN BRIGHT RED YA BOZO then all matter of bloody shenanigans start happening!
I guess when I see a poster write before I walk into the movie theater showing the movie advertsing this as "the most terrifying movie you'll ever experience" I was expecting it to be pants-shittingly sleep-deprived-for-a-week scary. It really wasn't all that bad! Not to say people who are easily scared of horror movies should run out to see it, it's just that it was setting me up for a certain type of experience it couldn't follow through with. Now if it had advertised as "the goriest, bloodiest most unsettling and horrifyingly disgusting movie you'll ever experience", well then...
Man this movie is gory. I don't know if I'd call it exactly torture-porn as there are still haunted elements to it, but it's pretty damn close. Lots of blood, gobs and gobs of it. Literally raining blood from the sky. A lot of freaking blood is what I'm saying here. Limbs get torn, ripped and cut off, faces are shattered, bodies are beaten and subsequently hit the floor, and there are any variety of knives, box-cutters turkey carvers, nail guns, and of course chainsaws are used. I don't know why I wasn't expecting it considering it's the Evil Dead series, but there you go. It's pretty fun spotting implements here and there and seeing how they'll turn up later. And they do! I'm glad that all the bloddy ends are tied up nicely. If you're not a fan of body dismemberment well what the hell are you doing here?
I'm also not saying that it's not scary, there are quite a few jump scares and it's got a nice creepy atmosphere. Things just feel plain wrong. And the cinematography is some of the best in any horror movie, doing a lot of nods to the original series, including that great evil-flying-through-the-woods shot. It's a really well-made film, including the soundtrack that's a cacophony of murder death. And speaking of the original series, there are enough nods to satiate Evil Dead fans without thumping them over the head with it, and scarificing a good narrative for bad tie-ins. Also, stay through to the end credits.
It's impossible for me to watch this without thinking of Cabin in the Woods. I mean it is quite literally a batdamn cabin in freaking the woods. If you've seen Cabin, it's kind of an added kick to see how well everything matches up, imagining Sittersona and Hadley watching the proceedings on the other end of some TV screen, making sure the deadite pops up at the right time. Suffice it to say, the old gods will be satiated for aonther year, if you know what I mean.
As the story goes, it's not bad. I really love how they have a better reason for going to a cabin in the middle of the woods instead of just "Hey let's party, why not?". Although they still don't give all that good a reason for reading the book. "I've unleashed something evil!" Well no shit Sherlock, who told you to read from the book? It would have helped if he was some sort of student of the Occult and he was doing it for any good reason other than dumb curiosity Also, no talk of cell-phones at all? I mean I assume none of them get any kind of reception, but still it would have been nice to have an explanation.
When they actually get to the killing and running it's pretty fun and enjoyable in the horror kind of way. It's extremely satisfying and very disturbing. And it goes to some nice places you don't expect. There are a lot of awesome moments in whcih you go, "Oh man that's awesome!" or "Oh no don't do that!!" Mia and Eric are especially badass. It gets to the point where once you hear a door slam shut, you know something terrible is going to happen, and you can't wait. The last twenty minutes of the movie are pure amazing tension-filled disturbing awesome.
I enjoyed it. Obviously it's no Evil Dead 2 and it does nothing to flip the genre on it's head like Cabin in the Woods, but it's a pretty great horor movie and a great example of the genre.
THE GOOD: Good creepy atmosphere, good creepy music, great reason for the cabin, great cinematography lots of bloody awesome deaths, gobs of blood and gore, Cabin in the Woods references.
THE BAD: Doesn't bring anything new to the genre, people are kind of dumb, not that scary, may be too gory/bloody/torture porn-y for some.
THE VERDICT: $$$$ Definitly worth seeing if you're a horror fan and an Evil Dead fan. Maybe not as good as the originals, but still fun.
MOVIES LIKE IT: The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Cabin in the Woods, Friday the 13th, Halloween
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: When a deadite bites Jules in the hand, she goes to wash it off. But then she sees it starting to blacken and fester unnaturally. There's only one thing to do.