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Mike Fraser http://www.mikeshouseofmovies.com
This is perhaps one of the most talked about horror movies to come along in sometime. Even if you are not a fan of the original Evil Dead series chances are you definitely heard about this one. Me being a huge fan was very nervous when they announced that a re-visioning of the original was in the works was it given to a first time director and film maker.
Now I know we all must start somewhere but I can’t imagine being given something that has this much of a following and are told to run with it. If it fails it can sink your career, but if it rises, expect more work quickly.
Most of all know the story of Evil Dead by now. Group of adults go to a cabin in the woods and there they find a strange book. The book is opened and passages are read and thus releasing evil upon the group. This time around we are actually given a reason as to why these said adults are arriving at the cabin. They are there for an Mia’s(Jane Levy) intervention. The cabin belonged to Mia and her brother David(Shiloh Fernandez) parents and it was a place they always used to come to up until their mother’ death.
Once there they find the cabin needs some cleaning up and it looks like someone broke into the place. While searching they find dead cats hanging in the basement and that’s where the book is found.
Their friend Eric(Lou Taylor Pucci), who is a teacher, takes it upon himself to study the book which ultimately leads to the releasing of evil.
The first that is noticeable about the film is the tone. The original series always had a campy, comedic fill to it but this re-visioning is pretty serious. It takes itself seriously and definitely no punches are pulled. That’s thanks to the wonderful direction of Fede Alvarez.
He is a first time film maker that had the daunting task of bringing this film to life and he pulls out all the stops. He takes his time with scenes and lets things play out building the tension surrounding the group, which is rounded out by David’s girlfriend Natalie(Elizabeth Blackmore) and their doctor friend Olivia(Jessica Lucas). The movie picks up the pace once the terror arrives and the blood starts to flow.
Alvarez also tips his hat to the original Evil Dead in how a couple of the scenes are shot and edited. It was a real homage to the series and the audience clapped when these scenes arrived. The only small place where Alvarez falters is with the pacing. It gets a little uneven at times, most of which I think is because of the tight running time the movie has being just above 1 hour and 30 minutes. If the movie was a bit longer Alvarez would have had a bit more time scenes to play out better. Does this make this movie a bad movie? Not in the least.
One thing that you have to give Alvarez props for is the use of practical gore effects. Buckets of prop blood, prosthetic limbs, old school make up effects. The director did not want to use CG for these effects if it could be helped and that really pays off.
This film has a lot of very extreme, brutally gory scenes and is definitely not for the squeamish. If you hate the site of blood and severed limbs you may want to bring a pillow or bury yourself if your partners shoulder.
Is the movie scary? It had a very jump scares in it but it feels more terrifying that scary. It’s not stuff that will haunt your dreams but there are scenes that will stay with you long after the curtains fall.
The acting in the movie passes the grade with all the actors hitting their marks, giving honest performances. The character David could have used a bit more life, he seemed a little bored through out the movie, other than that they were fine. Fans of Suburgatory will notice Jane Levy(Mia) as the daughter from the hit show. She becomes a total freak show later in the movie.
Fans of the original and newcomers to the show should enjoy it thoroughly. It definitely was one hell of a ride and I’m hoping Alvarez comes back to do a second one. This version is a gore lover’s dream and makes for some pretty unsettling scenes. It was originally given the NC-17 rating and was cut to get the hard R. You will probably find once it gets out on Bluray/DVD that there will be the Uncut version along with the theatrical version. We shall see.
Overall I give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s definitely worth full price to see in the movie house and then to buy to add to ones movie collection. If you are a fan of the original or just a fan of horror in general, go, run, rush to see this movie. It’s American horror done right. Till next time my friends.