The horror remake is the type of film that rarely achieves the heights of its predecessor; from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street, to House of Wax and Psycho. Once a generation these films reappear to try and instill the fear once again to a modern audience, and often failing. Evil Dead is not one of these films. Evil Dead is a thrill ride from start to finish where once things start going wrong, you can’t take your eyes off it.
Following the tradition of many cabin-horrors in the past (recently pastiched in the brilliant postmodern horror The Cabin In The Woods), a group of five friends once again find themselves isolated in a dingy cabin. The film counteracts this stale scenario by having one of the main characters as a recovering drug addict, Mia, who has come to the cabin with her brother David and friends to go cold turkey. This works well, as when things start turning nasty, her friends just think it’s the withdrawal symptoms kicking in, until body parts start flying and the true horror of the situation hits them.
The film’s pace is relentless, giving audiences little breathing space and leaving everyone who left the cinema a nervous reck. Whilst the film wasn’t particularly ‘horrifying’ (only a few jump moments), it makes up for this in its gore which, being an Evil Dead film, there is a lot of. Limbs are cut off, heads are severed and blood (literally) rains from the sky. The ‘No CGI’ rule enforced by the director really pays off, and every snapped tendon has a visceral reaction on the audience. This is how body horror should be done…properly.
The original and its sequel are cult favourites within the genre, and the news of a Hollywood remake worried many fans that it would fail to live up to the heights of Bruce Campbell and co. The film perfectly captures the horror and comedic elements of the original and I think most fans will agree that Evil Dead 2.0 was made out of love for those classic films.
Evil Dead is brilliant. Whether you are new to the franchise or making a return visit, it is a joy ride from start to finish. To quote Evan Dickson from blood-disgusting.com, Evil Dead is a f*cking blast.
Evil Dead (2013), directed by Fede Alvarez, is released in the UK by StudioCanal, Certificate 18.