Oct 21, 2014

21 of 31: Evil Dead (2013)

A vain attempt by a formerly prolific blogger to review 31 new (to me) horror films in the 31 days of October. We did it last year and it was a gas. Can we do it once more? Let's find out.

Platform: Starz on cable
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez

In what would amount to pure heresy amongst horror film fans, I'm here to admit that I'm not a fan of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead from 1981. I thought it was okay, but nothing on the level that most cultists feel. I liked the second movie a lot, and I LOVED the third film. But at that point they had moved on from horror to almost pure comedy. And Bruce Campbell is just the absolute grooviest. But that first film? Meh.

In the 2013 remake/reboot, instead of the tired "five college students vacation in a cabin in the woods" trope, we have what amounts to a voluntary intervention. Mia's brother and her friends go to the cabin to help her recover from her heroin addiction. She's a damaged kid who had to deal with her mother going to an insane asylum by herself because her brother bailed on the situation. He's trying to repair the damage he's done to her and reconnect with their friends.

Things start to go bad when they discover a cellar filled with animal corpses and ye olde evil book. One of them reads some shit out loud that he was warned not to read, and that's when the demons be possessing people. Mia is the first to be possessed, but one by one they all fall. All based on the prophecies written in ye olde evil book. Five souls needed to awaken something called the Abomination. Not. Good.

There's a lot more backstory in this remake. Both involving the characters and the demonic stuff going on at the cabin. There's also a hell of a lot more gore and violence. Just an absolute gore-fest of a film. I've read the original film used 50 gallons of blood. This filmed used over 70,000 gallons. Wow. It got a little too"torture porn-y" at times for my taste, but demonic possession will cause that. I'm guessing here. Nothing in my own personal history can confirm that. Ahem.

There are a whole mess o' winks, nods and loving references to the original film in this remake, including a post-credits cameo from Bruce Almighty himself. Groovy. And don't worry, the chainsaw makes an appearance. And a "holy fucking shit!" appearance at that. I know that a sequel is in the works for this one. And Sam Raimi has mentioned a fourth film in the original series. And then possibly another film bringing the two story-lines together. That would be interesting. For now, enjoy this fun gore-fest. It's about as entertaining as these things get.

Verdant Dude Rating: 3.5 out of 5 pumpkin ales.

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