Movie: Evil Dead
Director: Fede Alvarez
Writer: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Studio: Ghost House Pictures, FilmDistrict

A modern update on the classic film brings the book of the dead back to life for a new audience…with buckets of blood!

It is not exactly a secret that I am a huge fan of The Evil Dead. When I heard that they were remaking it I was concerned. I feared it would be a terrible modern horror (much like the last Texas Chainsaw film) and that it would not do the original film justice. Then I heard Raimi and Campbell were producing it and they assured me it was good. Not personally, just in interviews and whatnot. I finally got a chance to see Evil Dead and I have to say it was awesome.

Evil Dead (just like the original) is about a group of twenty-somethings who are staying at an isolated cabin in the woods. Soon one of the group finds a very ominous book in the cellar and starts to read from it (because of course he does, it is a horror movie) and everything starts to get crazy. Soon it becomes a fight for survival as members of the group become possessed by an evil entity.

Fans of the original film will be delighted to know that there are plenty of homages to the original film. The filming style, music, and plenty of props echo back to the classic 1981 film. I was in a theater where it seemed only about 20% of the audience appreciated these references, but that did not stop the entire audience from applauding on a few occasions. This really should say more than any review I write can. I have been to tons of horror movies on opening night and this was the first time in a long time that people were so into the movie they cheered and clapped. There were also plenty of people who looked absolutely terrified during plenty of scenes of the film and that is exactly what a good horror movie should do.

I wont pretend that Evil Dead was without flaws. The acting was not the greatest and the first act of the film was a bit labored and weak at setting up the characters. Despite those issues the movie really gets good at the beginning of the second act and powers through at a great pace until the final moments of the film. There are plenty of scares (both atmospheric and cheap) throughout and if you are a fan of gore this movie delivers it in buckets. It is also worth noting that nearly every special effect is practical, not CGI, so everything looks very convincing and will leave you feeling very unsettled at times.

Is Evil Dead as groundbreaking and original as the 1981 film? Of course not, but it does not need to be to still be worth your time. It may not be treading any new ground, but this film delivers on scares in a time where big budget hollywood horror has become boring and played out. If you want a fun horror movie that echoes back to a classic film this is definitely your best option, and even if you have never heard of the original it is still a film you will enjoy. Oh, and make sure you stay after the credits for a very groovy scene.

Score: B+

Review written by: Justin Proper

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