Remakes are usually terrible. It’s a fact. They either copy the original too much and do things worse, or they change it up and make it completely different, leaving it as not much of a remake and pretty rubbish. Evil Dead is an exception to this generalisation. It’s actually pretty good.
The film kicks off much the same as Sam Raimi’s original, 5 friends go to a remote cabin in the woods and end up accidentally summoning an ancient evil that attempts to possess and kill the friends. It all seems very familiar but with slight differences. The friends are there to help one of them get over their drug problem this time, adding an extra layer of interest to the plot. The sweeping POV shots are still there, as is the gory violence and horror, but gone is the humour and tongue-in-cheek nature of the original. This change is welcome as it means the film can focus more on horror. There are a few jump scares thrown in for good measure. but the real horror is the demons that take over the friends and unleash one of the biggest, most goriest blood-fests I have ever seen in a film. I’m sure most of the budget went on the blood.
The five main actors are decent. They all bring solid performances, managing to hold their own acting in the main horror film ways: scared, disbelief, pain, sadness. But they take a backseat when the plot really kicks in and some of them become possessed. It almost seems as though over actors have taken over, they change so drastically. It really works and makes the film all the more creepy.
The film contains enough homages to the original to satisfy fans. A chainsaw makes a brief but glorious appearance and the settings are eerily familiar. Be sure to watch out during the credits too.
All in all, Evil Dead is enough of a remake and update to justify its existence and familiar enough to be a great continuation. Brilliantly violent and gory and suitably scary and horrific, worth a watch in preparation for the upcoming Ash vs. Evil Dead series.
JACK’S SCORE: 4/5