Back in 1981 a director by the name of Sam Raimi made his name from a small movie called The Evil Dead that shocked the world, not because it was done on such a small budget and not because it had a cast that nobody had heard of but because it was a horror movie that caused so much uproar it wasn’t just banned in a lot of countries but it was nearly outlawed. You see when the film hit the UK shores back in 1981 and it was instantly labelled under the notorious video nasty, movies that the BBFC deemed so bad that they tried to keep away from the public, so much so that a lot of cinemas trying to show the movie and video shops that were trying to sell the movie were told to stop or they would be prosecuted. This didn’t stop people from wanting to see the movie, in fact it gave it a cult status that it spawned two sequels and now this remake. So can this film hit the heights of the original or will it just be another one of those films that people will look back on and call torture porn?
The film centres around Mia (Jane Levy) who has been taken to a cabin in the middle of the woods by her four friends and brother so she can go cold turkey as she is suffering from a really bad drug problem, on arriving to the cabin you can see that it’s extremely run down and that is very prevalent when they enter the cabin as not only is it in a really bad condition but a nasty pungent smell can be found that only Mia seems to be able to notice. During the first night in the cabin the dog seems to notice the smell and reveals a hatch in the floor that leads into the basement and as you can guess they decide to investigate it.
On entering the basement they discover numerous animals strung up from the ceiling and a door in the back of the room in which, when they open it, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) finds an item wrapped in a black bag and barb wire, obviously one of the friends is very skeptical about the discovery which turns out to be a book made from human flesh, and of course, despite the warnings, Eric reads from the book aloud and unleashes an ancient, angry evil.
I’m not going to go into the story anymore but it does follow the same route as the original and this is where one of the problems of the film crops up. You see the director, Fede Alvarez, has said that this is a more re-imagined version of the original film and not a remake but I tend to disagree, yes a few things have changed, but the overall feel of the film gives you a sense of deja vu.
One of the biggest and most controversial scenes from the original film, the infamous tree rape scene, is in this movie however it has been toned down a little making me wonder if the secen was necessary at all here, as there are other ways Mia could of been possessed by the demon. The other big problem of the remake is that it has decided to scrap the idea of having any humor whatsoever, instead going for straight forward horror, now I see where the director is coming from but people liked the original film as it had the humor to cut through the tension; and that’s not so with this one, in fact it isn’t even that scary! Which is the final big problem of the movie.
Now it’s not all negatives when it comes to the remake as it has done a few things to an ultimate horror T. It’s been a while since a horror movie has gone with natural physical effects instead of computer generated effects and here the blood looks like blood and not jam and this is where the movie shines. If the director was going for a nasty visceral feel then he got it spot on.
One thing I do have to point out though, if you have watched the red band trailer then all of the nastiness of the film will be lost on you as the trailer has shown the best bits. Well, apart from the last 15 minutes which are totally insane. This movie is testament to why people who create trailers should be very careful as they can spoil the movie for you.
Overall should this be a film that people who loved the original go and see? Yes! You have to remember though that it doesn’t bring anything new to the horror table and the humor of the original has gone but this is a hardcore horror film on the big screen and we don’t get that often these days. Many will be let down and may feel that it misses the mark but treat it like a regular horror film – try to forget the original movie – and you might find things you like about it. Oh and don’t forget to stay to the end…