Evil Dead, not be confused with The Evil Dead, is first-time writer/director Fede Alvarez’s 2013 semi-remake of the 1981 Sam Raimi classic. Dumb poster tagline aside, it’s an adept interpretation of the original. Nu-Dead didn’t fully hit the mark for me, but it stills reaches the lofty goal of my rewatchable zone.
The cast is well-rounded, featuring the likes of Shiloh Fernandez (Deadgirl), Jane Levy (Suburgatory, Castle Rock), Lou Taylor Pucci (Spring, Carriers), and Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield, Gotham). Levy stands out with her possessed performance, even through the unexpected final revelation. It’s no surprise Alvarez chose her to lead his next foray into the genre Don’t Breathe.
Evil Dead‘s tone is much more serious than its predecessor, keeping in mind the first film wasn’t the most straight-faced to begin with, but it’s hard to say if I would have preferred a more lenient aesthetic. The gore is gut-wrenching, the music is over the top, and the sound editing/mixing packs an intense punch when paired up with the trademark camerawork the series is known for. It all gelled and felt right for a modern horror film giving love to its ancestor.
Most fans agreed, enough that the calls for more movies with the same team involved were not ignored, but rather side-negotiated into a project with a totally different cast and crew, the crazy fun but short-lived Ash vs Evil Dead TV series on Starz, which saw the return of the legendary Bruce Campbell reprise his most well-known role. As of now, the plans for a sequel to Alvarez’s Evil Dead unfortunately seem to be scrapped, but there is a new film in the works from director Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) with Raimi and Campbell’s blessing titled Evil Dead Now. It remains to be seen how the new movie will be connected to the existing universe, if at all.
4 Slayer-inspired endings out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2018)
Terrifier is now the fourth(!) kickstarted attempt at creating the next slasher villain that everyone goes ga-ga for. After Art the Clown’s debut back in the 2008 short film The 9th Circle and reprisal in 2011’s short film also named Terrifier, he appeared again in, what I would call the Goodwill version of V/H/S, All Hallows’ Eve in 2013. Terrifier tries to impress with some over the top gruesome kills, but only when it isn’t slow as molasses. And no, being boring isn’t “proper pacing” or “building tension”, it’s putting me to sleep. The cheap grindhouse gimmick angle doesn’t work either. Someone tell Art he needs to stick to short films where he belongs.
2 failed franchise launching pads out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2019)
In Creep 2, Mark Duplass’ (The League, The Lazarus Effect) wacky, eccentric serial killer returns to…make you feel mildly uncomfortable again. I seriously don’t understand why everyone is loving these films, especially enough to have a third in the works. The first Creep was a study in monotony and the second go-around is even more of a dud. It’s not that I don’t understand its ironic notion and deconstruction of the found footage phenomenon, but I find it painfully ineffective. Put this creep back in the closet, please.
1 creep keeper out of 5