David and his girlfriend have traveled to their family’s cabin in an effort to help rehabilitate his drug-addicted younger sister, Mia. Along with a nurse and another friend, the four discuss how they plan to help Mia by keeping her locked in the cabin and away from old friends and negative influences until she finally kicks. These drastic measures have come about since Mia’s last overdose which left her clinically dead for almost a minute. The friends make a pact that they are not leaving no matter how much Mia begs and pleads with them. But after a short escape attempt into the woods leaves Mia in a near catatonic state, they discover leaving was never an option.
This Evil Dead movie is a big departure from the original but is still fantastic in that this was the movie Evil Dead was always supposed to be. More horror than action-adventure and more likely to produce gasps of disbelief than belly laughs, the reboot of this movie is something to behold for anyone who can momentarily suspend their discomfort at a classic being redone for a new generation.
The staples are all here. A door chained above the basement as a woman peers out with evil in her eye, the only bridge being washed away and, of course, a woman being violated by plant life. A demonic book is discovered and an incantation is unwisely read aloud. The demonic presence then proceeds to work its way through the group until the last (very un-Ash-like) man is standing. Although the final character lacks Bruce Campbell’s DIY approach to killing necromorphs, you still root for him, or are at least rendered speechless by the gallons of blood and cords of sinew that soak this entire movie. While not purely a torture porn movie (Saw, Hostel, etc.), it definitely owes a tip of the hat to that genre for its unflinching style in portraying the horrific injuries that take down the group. One character in particular is almost Campbellian (copyright pending) in his ability to take damage but somehow limp through the proceedings.
Just when you think the movie is done and a reasonably happy ending has been had (well, as happy as one can be with the bodies of your dismembered, deceased friends littering your family cabin), the movie takes a twist that even the most jaded fanboy won’t see coming.
Although the reboot of this movie will surely let down those looking for the campyness of the first three, it is a terrifying horror movie that eschews the use of CGI and has a real gritty feel to it. The last fifteen minutes also shows off the director’s ability to straddle the line of staying true to the original and ratcheting up the reboot in a smart way.
Note: Be sure to watch the post-credit scene with Bruce Campbell.
Final rating (out of 5):