REVIEW: EVIL DEAD
SYNOPSIS: In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
REVIEW: The Evil Dead, is not just remaking the film that launched director Sam Raimi's career back in 1981, but It's also following two previous sequels, several video games and a comic book collection, just to name a few. Not to mention, it’s also coming up behind a slew of rip-offs and similar look-a-likes such as the more recent Cabin in the Woods (which seems to be a kin to the popular eighties hit). After all of this Raimi, along with the new director Fede Alvarez, should have been more than prepared to live up to the challenges of a remake. With this script being armed with an ultra mean spirit, relentless intensity, and buckets of both practical and digital gore, somehow it fell short of what one should expect of any remake that involved original contributors such as Raimi himself.
Having been a fan of the original I would go as far as to say that this latest effort doesn't pander to the oceans of devoted fans of the original (Until the flick's final post-credit shot, which can absolutely be skipped). Instead, it takes an all too familiar plot, very familiar scary movie tactics or character traits, and even rules about the “Candarian demons, Book of the Dead,” and the sickness that's spreading to the group and gives it all a bit of a modern touch that does very little for the movie. It's this latter way Alvarez attempts to use familiarity of the franchise against the audience that makes this Evil Dead screenplay all the less intriguing. Nonetheless In that sense, its success as a horror film is undeniable, even if it leans more towards making its audience squirm rather than sending real scares down its collective spine.
The cast of relatively unknowns do very little for this franchise reboot, with Shiloh Fernandez (Gossip Girl), Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield, 2008), and Elizabeth Blackmore headlining this latest effort. They all do suitable jobs in their respective roles; however, it is most unfortunate that the overall feel of the cast and the acting that they bring, is that of a “B” movie.
After all is said and done, I believe that the movie is not all that it is hyped up to be and could have used a little more creativity in its plot without sacrificing the authenticity of its forerunners. In many ways, the Evil Dead remake strays from the pack, only by delivering harder shots of violence and gore than anything Raimi ever came up with, but not enough of a change to be appealing to today’s scary movie taste. Some things from the eighties are better off left in the eighties and this might have been one of them. The movie is only worthwhile viewing in the theater if one needs an excuse to get close to a date. Otherwise, viewers are probably better off seeing it at home with the comforts of a living room. It, at best, should be given three stars out of five for the few skillfully placed sequences of spine-tingling shock scenes.
By Movi-Man Stan
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