Certificate 18, 91 minutes
Director: Fede Alvarez
Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci
Evil Dead is a remake of the 1981 film The Evil Dead. As in the original, a group of five people have gone into the woods to stay in a remote cabin. The reasoning for this is slightly different; Mia (Jane Levy) is trying to quit drugs, and the others have gone with her to help, including her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) a registered nurse who will help Mia through this with her professional training.
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The cabin had been broken into and in the cellar they find evidence of a ritual that was carried out at the beginning of the film to exorcise a demon. There is also an unpleasant looking book (originally a Sumerian text called the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis in the original films, but called Naturom Demento in this), wrapped in plastic and bound up with barbed wire.
Despite the fact that the book has been tightly wrapped up, and all the written warnings inside it when the wrapping has been removed saying not to speak or write the incantation the final member of the group, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), deciphers the incantation and reads it which summons the evil again. Mia believes there is something in the woods and wants to leave; the others assume that this is either because she can't actually quit the drugs or because she is hallucinating from going cold turkey. By the time they realise otherwise, it's too late and the road out has been flooded. There then follows a predictable amount of mayhem as the five are, often brutally, attacked.
There are some bits in Evil Dead that are similar to scenes from the original although the plot is sort of different; the difference is mostly why the group is there at the cabin. Otherwise, it's a group trapped in a lonely cabin being attacked by monsters film, which concept was recently sort of spoofed in The Cabin in the Woods. There is also some audio from the original film where the professor from the original tells about his discovery of the book and a very brief post credits scene with Bruce Campbell as Ash.
There was enough violence in The Evil Dead and it was gruesome enough, due to Sam Raimi not being bothered about a rating, that it wound up being classed as what was then called a "video nasty" and now would be considered mainstream horror (such as "gornos") and, in fact, the film itself is comparatively tame by today's standards. In the UK the film's distributors were taken to Snaresbrook Crown Court where they successfully argued that the film was not obscene and it was therefore taken off the video nasty list, although by 1990 just under two minutes had been removed from the film.
The Evil Dead did contain a fair amount of humour, although not as much as the sequels; in Evil Dead most of the humour has been replaced with gore. Lots and lots of gore. Even though it's been successful, had involvement from Raimi, Campbell and Robert G. Tapert from the original and a sequel is planned this is a remake that probably didn't need doing. Evil Dead is more of a generic horror film than the original film was, and in some ways appears as if it was simply made to make more money from the film concept than was done the first time around; hopefully the planned sequel will be more true to the roots of the original. 2.5/5.
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