Evil Dead (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

A mouth widening procedure.

Despite many critics profusely praising Evil Dead on some well-known websites, do not believe any of it. This remake removes any aspect of its 1981 predecessor’s gleefully stupid and frightening exuberance and instead substitutes any real scares for stomach-churning over-the-top violence making this a dull blood-soaked gorefest that bears absolutely no resemblance to the famed cult franchise.

There are a few things I learned from this clichéd experience that I can pass along, though. They were:

  1. Heroin addicts have a great tolerance for pain.
  2. Whenever a Book of the Dead is discovered, it will inadvertently be used to conjure up unspeakable demons.
  3. Satan, no matter how infinitely powerful, can be held at bay with a McCulloch chainsaw.
  4. People under duress completely forget how to drive.
  5. Remakes, by their very nature, are far inferior to their original product.

Remakes are also generally inferior to any original product, as “The Cabin in the Woods,” which turned the teen/slasher genre on its ear in 2012, shows.

In this latest cabin in the woods tale, another group of unknown and unlikable 20-somethings face elimination from dark, terrifying and nearly supernatural forces. Here, David (Shiloh Fernandez, “Red Riding Hood) with drug addled sister, Mia (Jane Levy, “Fun Size,” a movie much more horrifying than this one), conducts an intervention in a dilapidated remote and isolated family vacation home — for reasons unknown.

Along for this bizarre event are registered nurse Olivia (Jessica Lucas, “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son“), hippy-dippy high school teacher Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci, “Jack and Diane“), and David’s non-descript girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore, “Burning Man“). After swearing off drugs — for the umpteenth time apparently — Mia smells something rotten, and it turns out the cabin contains the carcasses of numerous dead cats, as well as the obligatory Book of the Dead. Egghead Eric duly translates the tome, bringing an evil entity to life and sealing everyone’s doom.

Soon, Mia is re-possessed by a creeping vine (through an orifice best left undescribed) and haunted by her extremely unattractive doppleganger before turning into a Linda Blair-lite.

Evil Dead (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics


This leads to scene after scene of amazingly gratuitous bloodfeasts, including characters slicing off various body parts, plunging syringes into eyeballs, slamming skulls with plumbing devices, the firing of nailguns into soft, inviting flesh, people being buried alive, stabbings and bone-crunching blows to the head with crowbars and other implements. And just to keep reminding us of the unnecessary gore factor, there are also more mutilations, roastings, car wrecks and crushings — all of this in lieu of any competent storytelling.

Alvarez may have an advantage in budget and technology over the original “The Evil Dead,” but it does not mean this production holds any pleasure for the viewer.

With few genuine frights to speak of (dismemberments do not count), terrible acting, poor direction, lame plot and a visceral overload not seen since France’s Reign of Terror, Evil Dead is a most disappointing and unspeakably awful time at the theater. And like last year’s “Total Recall,” Evil Dead is another vivid example of a movie which not only invites, but begs the audience to rent and watch the original production.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
1 Star Rating: Stay Away


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The Critical Movie Critics

I have been a movie fan for most of my life and a film critic since 1986 (my first published review was for "Platoon"). Since that time I have written for several news and entertainment publications in California, Utah and Idaho. Big fan of the Academy Awards - but wish it would go back to the five-minute dinner it was in May, 1929. A former member of the San Diego Film Critics Society and current co-host of "The Movie Guys," each Sunday afternoon on KOGO AM 600 in San Diego with Kevin Finnerty.

'Movie Review: Evil Dead (2013)' have 16 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 5:44 pm craniac88

    I’m fine with Alvarez’s direction to emphasize the “stomach-churning over-the-top violence.” These kids invoked demons from The Book Of The Dead and we all know demons are a torturous bunch.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 5:58 pm GreenEyedElf

    Watch Cabin in the Woods. It’s basically the same thing, only better.

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      April 7, 2013 @ 7:41 pm vigoni

      Other than both taking place in a cabin in the woods these are completely different movies. I wish people would stop comparing the two.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 6:12 pm Strathsmore

    As I see it, it’s just another unnecessary remake.

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 6:28 pm SpacePotato

    The people that dream up this stuff keep me awake at night.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 6:55 pm HM34

    There is a difference between horror movies and scary movies although the line between the two has been blurred considerably. A movie like Paranormal Activity, while classified as horror, is nothing more than a mystery with a few jump scares. A movie like Evil Dead is classified as horror because what you see before you is truly horrific to witness.

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      April 7, 2013 @ 11:08 pm Republic of Me

      Perhaps, but a good horror film should always scare.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 7:14 pm TheBroken

    Movie was everything it claimed to be: Violent and bloody.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 7:30 pm NotFishing

    Very gory but not a well put together movie. Beginning is too slow and the ending is lame.

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      April 13, 2013 @ 8:01 am UncleSnob

      Setting things up for a splatterfest sequel.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 8:01 pm DefJamm

    Watch it late and with a full theater. You will have a bloody good time!

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 8:46 pm Scruff

    I appreciate the fact this has no major resemblance to the Raimi/Campbell original. Had I wanted to see a frame by frame rehash, I would watch theirs for the 100th time. That being said, I wasn’t won over with Alvarez’s stab at it.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 7, 2013 @ 9:32 pm Hex™

    Grossest movie I’ve ever seen. Buyer beware.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 8, 2013 @ 12:27 am Gabriel Polk

    Turned my stomach while scaring the living hell out of me.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 8, 2013 @ 10:40 am immortalbiter

    Sounds like a torture porn fans dream come true. Definitely not a movie for me.

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 8, 2013 @ 9:31 pm Foof

    The mistake made with Evil Dead is the mainstream marketing of it. It is not a conventional horror movie – it has a specific audience, which I gather you are not a part of Greg. The sadistic crowd that lusts for this type of entertainment will be most pleased with the level of trauma Fede Alvarez brings to the screen.

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