Evil Dead 2013 Review
Evil Dead 2013 is based off the 1980’s Evil Dead franchise, but it is essentially it’s own film. It’s hard, if not impossible, to review this film without comparing it to the previous Evil Dead films. The originals were campy, layered with dark humor, and filled with exaggerated gore effects. The 2013 version drops the campy humor and approaches the franchise with ultra realistic visuals. Not everyone will be happy with these changes.
The movie’s tagline follows Evil Dead tradition: “Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.” The history of this franchise plays a big role in the reboot development. Evil Dead is the creation of Sam Raimi and friend Bruce Campbell. In 1978 the pair created a prototype horror film titled, Within the Woods for $1600. This short film helped the pair raise $90,000 for a larger scale production, which would become the 1981 cult classic Evil Dead, grossing $2.4 million with its initial run. The success of Evil Dead lead Rami to film Evil Dead 2 in 1986 with a larger budget. Evil Dead 2 is widely considered to be one of the greatest horror films of all time. The success and cult status of the first two Evil Dead films create ridiculously high expectations for a remake or sequel.
The 2013 version has better actors. The acting in the original Evil Dead was almost nonexistent, but the only actor that mattered was Ash, portrayed by the legendary Bruce Campbell. Bruce was not the best actor, or the best comedian, but there was something about the guy that made the audience root for Ash. Evil Dead 2013 does not have a character named Ash, (however in remake 101 fashion), the main character has been transformed into a female named Mia, played by Jane Levy. There is nothing wrong with Jane’s acting, in fact she does a great job, but the story fails to help audiences connect with her character, or any of the characters. Mia’s a drug addict with deep rooted family issues. Her brother is a selfish jerk and the other characters are just kind of dumb. None of the five protagonist are worth saving. The audience had to be waiting for Ash to kick down the cabin door and save the day.
The lighting, cinematography, and special effects are top-notch. The set design is beautiful. The CGI was limited – every effect was a practical makeup effect. Most horror fans will appreciate this approach because bad CGI has ruined so many potentially good horror films. The effects are amazing and stand out as quite an accomplishment. Gore fans will not be disappointed. In true Evil Dead fashion, once the movie takes off, there’s plenty of blood, guts, and self-mutilation. The problem is without a solid story all of the effects come off as a meaningless gross out contest.
The story is ultimately where the film falls apart. This story doesn’t lacked scares – it lacks wit. There’s nothing clever or interesting about this story. It’s a typical dumb teens in peril flick full of clichés and bad dialogue. The essential themes of the original Evil Dead films were painfully missing. The original films had a level of atmospheric horror in which the characters were being driven insane by the evil forces. Strange camera movements created a warped sense of reality. The films were scary but full of bizarre comedy and dark humor. They had a quick energetic pace. The 2013 version tries to hide from the creativeness that made the originals such great films. An Evil Dead remake is not a bad idea, but this film missed the mark. It does not fully live up to the Evil Dead name.
|Title:||Evil Dead 2013|
|Pros:||Artistic approach, great lighting, superb cinematography. Old-school practical FX.|
|Cons:||Run of the mill monsters attack teens movie. No wit or creative writing. No likable characters.|
|Comments:||Needed a better story. Forgettable movie.|