When it was first announced that a remake of Sam Raimi’s original gore-filled classic The Evil Dead was headed for theaters, it was met with much scoffing. Once it was revealed that Raimi, along with Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert, were producing and fully endorsed director/co-writer Fede Alvarez’s vision, things quieted down. Then word started floating around that Oscar-winner Diablo Cody was brought in to touch up the screenplay and people feared that Evil Dead was potentially headed for Juno territory. Things perked up again once the redband trailer surfaced online. And then, after the phenomenal response to the SXSW screenings, the hype reached a fever pitch. Does the new Evil Dead live up to all this? Let’s just say it drowns all expectations in (reportedly) 50,000 gallons of gleeful gore.
A group of friends have gathered at a cabin in the woods. David (Shiloh Fernandez) is meeting with his estranged friends to conduct an intervention for his younger sister, Mia (Jane Levy). Sitting atop Raimi’s own “Classic,” David assures Mia that he is here to help her and will follow through to the end. Even crossing his heart and hoping to die. Also joining the siblings are token-blonde Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), hipster Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), and registered nurse Olivia (Jessica Lucas). It doesn’t take long for Mia’s cold turkey to take its toll on everyone, with Mia complaining of revolting smells coming from the cabin. The dog Grandpa (Inca) begins sniffing a rug, which is covering a cellar door. Downstairs they discover a room containing more than just dead animals hanging from the ceiling — the Necronomicon itself — bound in human flesh, shrinkrapped in a garbage bag and sealed with barbed wire. Once Eric opens the book and begins to translate, things go from bad to absolute worst — ever — and the five friends must face the cabin’s (literal) demons and try to survive their night amongst the Evil Dead.
Director Alvarez is a true force to be reckoned with. Raimi may undisputedly be one of the masters of gore, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Here is a film destined to take charge of a new direction for the beloved series and it’s about time. Raimi has been talking about a possible Evil Dead 4 but has now been rumoring about an Army of Darkness 2 which is also fantastic news. Having two alternate versions playing in theaters is a dream come true. As for Alvarez’s version, don’t think that he’s going to skimp on the gore. This has to be one of the bloodiest film’s ever committed to the R-rating. No evisceration goes left unturned. The special effects team earns some kind of award for sure. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, things just keep steamrolling ahead surely making the most highly respected gorehounds blush. If a film could visually drown you in gore, this is it. It never gets repulsive enough to deflate the fun and Alvarez’s Evil Dead is destined to become the most talked about and respected horror film of the year.
Photo courtesy TriStar Pictures