Hey dungeon crawlers, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review another Evil Dead movie. This time it’s the 2013 remake (or reimagining as the cool kids like to say) of the original film The Evil Dead.
There will be spoilers ahead so put your chainsaws away and go watch the movie first. You’ve been warned.
The original movie definitely had its problems but still managed to rouse a bit of a scare. In the remake some of the plot issues are fixed but we trade any of the fun for all of the terror. There is not much humor here which is a little weird for this franchise.
The movie kicks off with a father lighting his daughter on fire because she was possessed by something. If you’ve seen the original movies you know by what and we can tell this is going to be a difficult world to survive in.
From there we see a group of friends who go to a cabin in the woods. In this version the main focus is on David and Mia who are brother and sister. There is a much more reasonable explanation for them being at this cabin than in the original. Mia is set to go cold turkey kicking a drug habit with her brother and their friends as support. The cabin actually belongs to David and Mia and this is a remote enough setting that the drug recovery is a reasonable idea.
There are still some plot holes and I have some questions about this movie but I’ll get into that in a bit.
There are a lot of elements from the first movie that reappear here. There is an evil book, there is lots of bloody gore, there is a shotgun and chainsaw, people have to cut their own hands off, you know, the usual for an Evil Dead movie.
One by one the friends do things that don’t make tons of sense, are possessed by demons from Hell and go on to kill one another. There are even several lines in this one that first showed up in the original.
The makeup and special effects here are far superior to the first film so the gore feels pretty real and the terror level is fairly high. Things go as you might expect, it’s the worst night ever for basically everyone in the movie. I don’t want to give away a lot more than that as far as the conclusion but I sure had some questions about the setup here.
- When they first go into the cabin it smells bad. Only Mia really notices this but at a certain point David kicks away a rug and finds a cellar (it’s unclear if they knew that was there or not) and there is a huge smear of blood on floor under the rug. I think at that point it’s reasonable to decide to find a better recovery location for Mia. But I guess blood splatter is cool for a recovering addict? Come on people, make some good life choices here.
- I get that if you see this blood splatter you might go down to the basement. It’s pretty clear no one else is there and it’s been years since David and Mia were at this cabin so someone could have broken in years ago. But then they go below and there are just a bunch of dead cats hanging from the ceiling. They talk about how they should go out and bury the cats. Bury the cats? Dude, what? That’s a crime scene! Call the cops. Why don’t they call the cops? Even if Mia stays there for recovery, the cops might want to know who is picking off the local pets.
- Also in the cellar they find the classic items from the original movie. There’s a book wrapped in a plastic back tied up with barbed wire, a shotgun with a box of shells and I believe I saw a recorder of some kind there. They never play a recording in this one (unless you count end credit scenes) but Eric one of the friends there who is also a teacher immediately opens the book. I mean, here’s all these dead cats and some object wrapped in barbed wire that you literally have to cut through to open the book. Why would you do that? Why? This is also police evidence!
- When he opens the book it’s full of notes about how you shouldn’t read this book. So dude decides to, ummm… read the book? Again, why? It’s time go y’all.
The rest of the movie seems fairly reasonable to me and they do close some holes the original film had. While this one is not at all as fun as the original it’s still a decent horror film overall. But without Bruce Campbell as a main character a lot is lost here. The least they could have done was cast a young Ash but I guess they didn’t want to go that route.
I’m curious to see how the sequel to this one is and if they bring some of the humor back. I hope they do because it would have improved this one.