The Evil Dead is a cult favourite, and one that the fans could really get protective over. This remake, however, screams “I’m part of the club” at cinemagoers, with posters proudly proclaiming that this is a ‘new vision’ of the old story from the makers of the original. In other words, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, the director and star of The Evil Dead, are on board as producers. So, even though it’s an in-house job (and Michael Bay is nowhere to be seen), is this a Hollywood horror remake to get furious about? No, not really. It isn’t really a film that conjured up any strong emotions in me, though I have to say I was more impressed with it on my second viewing.
First-time feature director Fede Alvarez shows some considerable flare for style as he attempts to piece together the now well-known cabin-in-the-woods story.
It’s true, the film does get so caught up in how to make the audience feel sick, it forgets to make them interested in why they might feel sick and what the point of it all was in the first place. But the set-pieces used to bring about the sickness-feeling are very well staged and at times succeed in their aim to repulse and terrify.
In this version, the reason for the group of young photogenic people to be in the woods is altered. They are there to help one of their members to give up her life of illegal drugs. She plans to ride out the withdrawal symptoms with her friends and brother to support her. But, as many will be aware, she ends up becoming possessed by evil spirits.
This Blu-ray release, by StudioCanal, is outstanding. The high definition transfer is simply extraordinary – and I mean reference quality. Deep blacks and vibrant colours combine to make this a very full-on experience. The extras are interesting and informative and offer a pleasing look at the making of the film.
Evil Dead (2013), directed by Fede Alvarez, is released on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK by StudioCanal, Certificate 18.