'EVIL DEAD': Five Stars (Out of Five)
The first five star movie of 2013 is this long awaited reboot to writer/director Sam Raimi's 1981 cult classic original 'THE EVIL DEAD'. It's a loose sequel that finds a new group of young adults stumbling across the 'book of the dead', from the original trilogy, in the same cabin that iconic hero Ash and his friends did in the original two films. Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell (who played Ash) have returned as producers of the film (along with their buddy Robert G. Tapert, who produced the original three films). Raimi picked Fede Alvarez to make his feature film debut directing and co-writing the film (along with Rodo Sayagues and Diablo Cody). It stars Jane Levy (from TV's 'SUBURGATORY'), Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore. Levy plays Mia and she's supposed to reprise the role for two more films, the last of which is supposed to link this new film series to the adventures of Ash and the original films (following a 'ARMY OF DARKNESS 2' movie). I grew up on these films and am extremely excited to see Raimi and Campbell picking the series up again and think they're off to a great start.
The story picks up 30 years after the original 'THE EVIL DEAD' film ended with a new group of kids going to the same cabin so Mia (Levy) can try to detox and get over her opiate addiction. Her friends Eric (Pucci), Olivia (Lucas), Natalie (Blackmore) and brother David (Fernandez) are there as well to help her get through it. They come across the 'book of the dead' (the Naturom Demonto) from the original films, in the cellar and Eric foolishly reads from it (despite several warnings not to). He of course awakens the dead and Mia is possessed. The others originally think she's just going through withdrawals but they soon find themselves being taken over and killed off one by one as they fight the deadites for their survival.
The film was made on a budget of just $17 million (which is a lot higher than the original film obviously but a pretty small budget by Hollywood standards). The filmmakers decided not to use CGI (except for touch ups) and filmed for 70 days. The results are definitely rewarding. The film really has that 'old school' classic slasher film feel to it and it's surprisingly loyal to the original films (in style). It's lacking the power of a performance like Bruce Campbell's but it is really funny and satirical (more so than the first film I think but not it's sequels). The violence and gore is out of control (It was first rated NC-17, like the original) and it really is a true hardcore horror film; it's truly exhilarating and relentless. I think the filmmakers did about as good a job as they possibly could rebooting this classic series and being a huge fan it's an enormous pleasure to watch. I have no real complaints; it's a masterpiece just like the original film and it's sequels!
Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
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July 3, 2013 at 3:04 am