Director Fede Alvarez’s remake of Sam Raimi’s seminal horror classic ‘Evil Dead’ ramps up the gore level to 12 for a new blood-lustful audience, creating a slick, polished take for the new generation which turns out to be better than most and drenched in blood (literally)…

That said…

I went into the advertised gore ride remake of Sam Raimi’s classic Evil Dead with admittedly high expectations – this is something I really try not to do as a rule, but in my defence it was Sunday afternoon and I was quite looking forward to it in my own perverted Sunday-afternoon-bloodshed-oh-yeah-cool type way. I mean I’d read the reviews which had raved awesome and said it gets going after the 30 minute mark, I mean scanned them obviously so not the ruin it too much but anyway, the reason I want to say all this is to explain that maybe my mindset for this movie feels a little analytical and if I get a chance to hopefully watch this again in a more receptive, accepting state, then I may very well change some of this review, because the first thing I feel compelled to say is this: this is not as good as the original, 1 or 2! Not as funny or as scary. But! But – don’t stop reading it does get better – but, it was laden with some hard core gore and bloodshed which is where this movie does hit hard and strong. Impressive non-pull away shots create genuine moments of grimness creating many of the movies strongest scenes. The gore and violence is actually visually great to behold – the lack of CGI really enhances the goriness and grossness of the key moments – but where the blood and disfigurements rate high, the scares are sadly lacking and really it’s only the gory moments which end up being truly affective here. There’s kind of an identity issue with this film, I personally don’t mind remakes if they do a good job, but if you are going to remake in a particular new way then stand by your guns and go as balls out extreme as you can in your chosen new direction, and in this movie where they’ve chosen gritty, extreme realism kill-wise, then match it with some equally messed up gritty perverse violence and demon-related wrongness. This film moves in the right direction at times, but simply and frustratingly doesn’t take things as far or as wrong as they could or should have been taken – a lost opportunity, especially when it’s those areas which make the originals the awesome horror classics they are. Hopefully I’ll see an unrated version in the future and find what I was looking for, but it just seems to me that they took the initial premise and concentrated on the effects rather than the scares and creepiness that seem inherent to a story about demon-possession. Again, maybe I’m remembering the originals through rose-tinted (ok…blood-tinted) glasses, but I seem to remember the genius creepiness of the original half lying with the sadistically joyful evil of the possessed characters creating some genuinely scary terrifying moments. This remake seems to be lacking or at least not to have exploited this as much as it should have and in a movie where you’ve got a brother sister relationship in there, there’s a prime opportunity to create some proper messed up sadistic moments which just weren’t fully taken advantage of. Maybe it’s not fair to compare this so much with the original, but it’s something inherent in remaking a film that’s going to happen, especially when the original was such a classic. And there have been remakes that do this, just take the awesomely extreme remake of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ by the excellent Alexandre Aja as an example. Also this film suffers from some supposedly clever characters making some seriously dubious decisions. I don’t mind this as long as their inherent stupidity is at least made fun of in some way, but in this they just end up whining at their own idiocy…then they die.

So, is this a bad film? No, actually it’s pretty good and has an impressively creative ending and satisfying finale. It’s not the scariest movie I’ve seen but it contains enough gore, violence and grimness to give it a pretty good hardcore bite – more than most in fact – despite at times feeling slightly formulaic and needing some more perverse demon dialogue in my opinion. But if I’m honest a lot of the negatives come from comparisons with the original which will inevitably be made. So do go seen this movie and make up your own mind, you’ll probably love it…to death!!!(…sorry couldn’t resist)

PS: Check out Fede Alvarez’s award winning kick-ass short ‘PANIC ATTACK!’ for some awesome visual giant robot invasion type action!