[Simon Wijers/Unsplash]

Evil Dead

00:00 April 16, 2013
By: David Vicari
[Courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing]

Seeing a lovely young woman in a wet white slip is generally aesthetically pleasing. It kind of kills it when said girl, played by Jane Levy, is covered in blood, dirt and pus, and has angry, orange-red eyes because, well, she's possessed by a demon. But hey, this is Evil Dead, so you should know going in that it isn't going to be pretty. In fact, this respectable remake of Sam Raimi's nasty little cult classic, 1981's The Evil Dead, is pretty gory and nasty itself.

In this day and age, this scenario is overly familiar: Five college-aged kids go to an isolated cabin in the woods. This time, however, they are not there for fun and relaxation. David (Shiloh Fernandez) agrees to the get-together to help his sister, Mia (Levy), go cold turkey from her drug addiction. This being a horror movie and not an after-school special, the group fi nds a book made of human fl esh in the basement, which has written on it: "DO NOT READ!" Of course, the fi rst thing that the studious Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) does is read the thing out loud, which unleashes demons who enjoy possessing the living. The only way to destroy the possessed is live burial, fi re or dismemberment.

contains the severing of limbs, projectile vomiting and rape by trees. So, what elevates this above a stupid gorefest? Director Fede Alvarez actually cares about his characters. Well, at least the main brother and sister characters. The rest are stick fi gures on hand to be slaughtered. Also, the movie has a sense of humor about itself and its absurd premise. I bet that the witty dialogue moments are courtesy of co-screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult).

One of the disappointments I had with this new Evil Dead is that, while it is gory, it never goes crazy hog-wild with the action like the original did. We only get one demon attack at a time. What made Raimi's fi lm memorable were the over-the-top scenes of terror and excitement, with multiple demons attacking all at once. The chainsaw fi nale of Alvarez's version does come close, however.

Sure, this update of Evil Dead is vile and disgusting, but it's kind of a fun endurance test to see if you and your friends can handle it, and not freak out and run out of the theater.

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