Evil Dead (2013, USA)

Evil Dead (2013)
Directed by Fede Alvarez.

Available from

Written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues.
Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez and Jessica Lucas.
Remake of The Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead (2013) Theatrical PosterIn 1981, Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, the ultimate experience in grueling horror, was released onto the unsuspecting public. It became a cult classic, spawned two sequels; Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992), and created a cult icon with the character of Ash, played by the charismatic Bruce Campbell. It was inevitable that this movie was going to be remade…

Produced by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert, directed by Fede Alvarez and released in 2013, Evil Dead was marketed under the tagline:

“The most terrifying film you will ever experience.”

Terrifying? No.

But by simultaneously establishing it’s own identity and staying true to the original, Evil Dead was by far the most entertaining modern horror movie I had seen last year…perhaps even in the last decade.

Evil Dead (2013)

Arriving at an isolated cabin deep within the woods of Weymouth, Massachusetts, David (Shiloh Fernandez), Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Mia (Jane Levy), Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) prepare for what they expect will be a difficult night; to help Mia recover from her heroin addiction.

Suffering from withdrawal Mia becomes hostile, screaming and swearing that there is a foul stench in the cabin. At first the rest of the group believe that the smell is imaginary; a symptom of her withdrawal. That is, until they notice the large smear of blood near the cellar trap door…

It is in the cellar that the stench of decay originated from. It is in the cellar that Eric and David discover the rotten corpses of small animals hanging from the ceiling by barbed wire. And it is in the cellar that Eric and David discover ‘Naturom Demonto’, otherwise known as ‘The Book of the Dead’.

Evil Dead (2013)

The book, when removed from it’s prison of barbed wire and plastic, is found to be bound in flesh and inked in blood. Each page is scrawled with warnings, in the hope that they deter any reader from reciting any of the dead book’s passages… Passages that will lead to the taker of souls and the birth of abomination!

“You are all going to die tonight.”

Prior to the announcement of Evil Dead, director Fede Alvarez released a short film on YouTube entitled Ataque de Pánico in 2009. Translated as Panic Attack, the short film was written, edited and directed by Fede Alvarez, with an official production budget of $300. The short itself is deserving of it’s own review. It’s a science fiction epic, with the running time of approximately five minutes, and it is extremely effective in it execution. It was due to the popularity Ataque de Pánico gained that Alvarez was asked to develop this new project for Ghost House Pictures.

Evil Dead (2013)

Now, I can honestly say that Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981) is my all time favourite horror movie. Perhaps even my all time favourite movie…period. It was a relentless, grotesque masterpiece that succeeded because of it’s unique direction and great sense of humour. Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead (2013) is a well crafted movie that pays homage, not only to the original, but to the entire series and it is just as relentless as it’s predecessors. The intensity of the cast, particularly Jane Levy, will ensure that the film reaches cult status. Everything from the progressively violent special make-up effects, the atmospheric art direction and Roque Banos’ dynamic score fit perfectly with Alvarez’s unique and energetic direction.

Evil Dead, in conclusion, is extremely faithful to the spirit of the original ultimate experience in grueling terror. A tour de force of horror, humour and good ol’ fashioned splatter. Fede Alvarez, we salute you!

Ken Wynne

Ken Wynne is the EIC for Attack from Planet B - writing about cult cinema and alternative music for over a decade.