13 Aug 2013

'Evil Dead (2013)' DVD Review

Director: Fede Alvarez
Writers: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

A group of friends go to a remote cabin in the woods to help with their friend Mia's drug addiction, they discover the Book of the Dead in the cellar which releases a wild demon that takes over the group until one is left to fight for survival.

Having already watched 2013's Evil Dead before, I knew what I was getting in to when buying this DVD; I was in for a gory-licious treat. This movie may not be suited to everyone's taste by any means, I mean I watched it with my brother last night who absolutely hated it, that's just the sort of movie it is. Me, on the other hand, well I absolutely loved it.

Not being a fan of the original two, I can see 2013's Dead as a fun, balls-to-the wall gore affair that knows what it's doing and does it well. For fans however, they take it as a mediocre, gore-fest with little to no wit; I'm sure there are plenty of fans out there sucked up all the juicy elements Evil Dead had to offer, but from what I'm hearing from die-hard fans perspective its not all that positive.

This short paragraph now isn't about the movie itself, but its presence. Note to fans; Why is it that you all got so annoyed by that lack of humor this year's Evil Dead had to offer? The first and second Evil Dead were unintentionally comedic, so why loose yourself over the fact that there is no comedy in this year's remake? The only thing that made the original two funny was because the acting was so bad and the effects were even worse, it was a movie we could laugh at and still like, so don't get all bent out of shape over the fact that this one has better acting and better effects; however it doesn't have the Ash we all needed... Or did it?

Phew! Rant over. Back to the movie. Well Evil Dead is a horror buff kind of film, it doesn't quite provide what casual audiences are craving, but it's old spice to the modern horror genre is refreshing, ripping away from mainstream horror affairs. It may not be "new" or "fresh", but it's a hell of a good time for what it is. Pulling away from the generic Supernatural sub-genre that is now being over-done in today's horror (The Conjuring, Mama, Dark Skies), Evil Dead is a breathe of fresh air in the genre, and although it's far from perfect and isn't breaking any new ground, it is still a fun watch that is confident to splash the blood without falling into torture-porn territory.

Evil Dead has a lot to offer, mostly, in the effects department. The magic pulled off in this movie is so spectacular and realistic that it makes you realize how ugly CGI is, and a few CGI inspired moments in this will surely back up that point. The movie is filled with as much creative flare as it is in blood, and watching these gruesome dismemberment's take place with practical effects only hits that nerve that sends shivers down your spine and makes your stomach churn even harder. It's gory approach is both sickening and fun, and until the final act, there will never be a moment were you quietly say to yourself "I wish there was more gore" because believe me, it comes in bucket fulls. Sure, there may not be any intestine draped ceilings or floors full of bodily organs, but the gore it does dish out, is dished out with perfection, with a side order or extremely effective.

Though the performances become a little stale from most of the cast, a fantastic performance from Jane Levy is enough to send chills down your spine, yet manage to keep us sympathizing with her to the bitter end. Let's be honest, none of us expected such a powerhouse performance from a cheesy comedy show star, but I can safely say that Levy's career will only go up from here. Though none of the performances are "bad", you just can't help but feel that Levy is carrying the film on her shoulders. Yeah Pucci is good, but everyone else is a bit.. meh.

The characters, aside from Mia are undeveloped, especially one who is there for the soul purpose to get completely tortured until complete loss of blood, poor thing. Perhaps that is one of Evil Dead's biggest problem, we never really develop enough of a relationship for a character, especially not enough to see past how cliched they actually are. Aside from the brother-sister side-plot, the film just uses the rest of the characters as crash dummies, there to be hurt with no other soul purpose. In saying this, they do fit into the main storyline as Mia's friends, there to help her through her cold-turkey stage, but after that is over and done with, they sit there and wait to be picked off next. In fairness though, poor Eric, that man gets it rough.

It's a shame that such a good movie has such poor special features, if  only the amount of detail put into the Texas Chainsaw extras were put in this, that would make the perfect DVD. The extras are so lackluster that it's hard to even talk about something that could have been so much bigger, but chose not to be. The detail that could have went in to those extras is mass, I mean we all wanted to know how the face-cutting make-up, and abomination was made, like seriously! The lack of detail is upsetting compared to the size of Evil Dead, and despite a couple of small extra bits, even Blu-ray owners will be disappointed. Every feature is basic and lasts 5 minutes at the most, I mean why not commit to it and give the audience what they want. Pfft, oh well, nothing can be done now, but if you're thinking about buying this DVD or Blu-Ray, only do so if you love the movie, otherwise, don't bother.

VERDICT:  Evil Dead, one of 2013's most promising horror's should go down a treat for any gore-hound, and churn the stomachs everyone else. It's gloriously gory and fun, and although it's not particularly scary, its still an intense, bombastic gore affair that makes for an interesting watch. Maybe not a buy, but defiantly a rent.


  1. Whaddaya mean you don't much like the first two? They're brilliant and I just reviewed the second giving it 10/10! http://watchingthedead.blogspot.co.uk/

    Only joking (kinda). Great review, I've read mixed reviews about this film and it's on my radar but I've tasked myself (and this is anal) to try and review films in chronological order. So it'll be Army of Darkness next then this.

    I like the site and I'll be sure to drop by regularly.

    1. no no when I say I didn't care for them much, I meant that I wasn't obsessed with them like everyone else, you know yourself, they are great movies, both one and two, i both rated them 4 out of 5 stars, it's just that I wouldn't be fussed if I never got to watch them again, thats all.

      You should defiantly give it a watch, it will basically show you what Evil Dead would have been like without the comedy. I personally as you can see loved it, but yeah a lot of people didn't care for it much, and I hope you like it.

      Thanks for the kind (and humorous) words, I really appreciate it!

  2. Great review. I got to say, I really enjoyed this movie. I was nervous going in that it wouldn't honor Sam Raimi's masterpiece, but thankfully it played plenty of homage to the original. While part of me does miss the humor, I don't mind that much since I got plenty of action and gore.

    I finally got around to reviewing this movie on my own novice, review-blog. I could always use an experienced critic's opinion to help me fine-tune my reviews. Check it out if you get the time.


    1. Thanks! I agree, but it's healthy to see a serious approach to this type of movie, and benefits to the telling of the story. I defiantly will!



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