When the orignal The Evil Dead was released in 1982 it attracted both critical acclaim and controversy. It defined a genre and led to one of the greatest sequel/remakes in film history. The Evil Dead 2 I mean, not this one. Thirty-one years after the original, what does this offering give us?
After several unsuccessful attempts, to get clean, Mia (Jane Levy) decides to head to a family cabin in the woods and go cold turkey. Joined by her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and three friends, they steel themselves for a rough ride, and a rough ride is what they get. Finding the Book of the Dead they unwittingly release the evil within.
To be honest, it feels a bit odd, watching a film about a cabin in the woods after Cabin in the Woods. There’s nothing new here (for the love of God, don’t read out the Latin!!). But there’s no pretence to suggest that there will be either. What you get is a straight forward splatterfest. There are a few twists on the original such as having Mia’s friends not be able to tell whether she is detoxing or possessed which is a clever move and Jane Levy inhabits the role perfectly. Alvarez may have had a much bigger gore budget than for Raimi’s original but he remains faithful to the DIY ethos by sticking to mechanical effects. Likewise, the ridiculousness level of the deaths are not toned down any. This all makes for decent and entertaining watch. The reboot was never going to overtake the original but it’s a welcome addition if only for the chance to chant “cut it off, cut it off” in the cinema.*
*not advised – quiet in the cinema please.