Evil Dead: 2013 remake: Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, LLC Evil Dead: Movies & TV
A secluded cabin. An ancient curse. An unrelenting evil. The original producers reunite to present a genuinely terrifying re-imagining of their original horror masterpiece. Five young friends have found the mysterious and fiercely powerful Book of the Dead. Unable to resist its temptation, they release a violent demon on a bloodthirsty quest to possess them all. Who will be left to fight for their survival and defeat this unearthly force of murderous carnage?
You leave a staple gun lying around an isolated cabin, you're asking for trouble. But that's the least of the mortal worries in Evil Dead, the 2013 reboot of Sam Raimi's 1981 kook-classic horror picture. This version takes the same general outline as the original (young people at a cabin, forbidden book of occult spells, all hell breaking loose) and plays it as an intense, blood-soaked exercise in nonstop action. Ostensibly the friends are there to help Mia (Jane Levy) kick her drug addiction, but they get slightly distracted by the dead animals hanging in the basement and the book of incantations wrapped in barbed wire. The nerd (Lou Taylor Pucci) in the group takes the next step--actually speaking some of the book's mumbo-jumbo out loud--and the rest is no-holds-barred, utterly berserk bloodletting. If any of this had real force, or if any of the characters had more than a single character trait to prop them up, maybe Evil Dead could succeed as a genre exercise. Certainly, director Fede Alvarez has the technical skills to horrify an audience for 90 minutes, and the film is grueling in its quest to find a grisly touch that will top the previous scene. But there's absolutely nothing going on beyond the usual template for this kind of movie (didn't Cabin in the Woods finish that off?) and ultimately we're left with another horror picture that relies on people doing stupid things. --Robert Horton
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