Verdict: Two stars out of five. While the original Evil Dead is hailed as one of the greatest horror movies ever, this version is little more than another commonplace slasher flick. There are some deliciously familiar horror tropes, but the gore is so graphic and repetitive that it becomes gratuitous and veers dangerously close to torture porn. This Evil Dead review can only conclude that the literal showers of blood will leave you numbed, and you will struggle to care for the one-dimensional characters. 

Evil Dead remake

She realised with mounting horror that she had forgotten to switch off the kettle © Sony

In 1981, novice filmmaker Sam Raimi, his childhood friend, actor Bruce Campbell, and producer Robert Tapert joined forces to make a low-budget horror film called The Evil Dead. The story of five college friends who go on vacation in an isolated cabin, only to find themselves pursued and possessed by demons, the movie became a cult hit. It went on to spawn two sequels, a video game and comic books, and made Campbell a cult icon. It also became a huge influence on horror movies such as Cabin In The Woods (2011), whose initial plot almost entirely mirrors that of The Evil Dead.
Fast forward 32 years, and Raimi, Campbell and Tapert have once again come together, this time to produce a remake of their own film.  The duo begin anew with a cast of unknowns: the eponymous five young people in the ubiquitous cabin in the woods, all ciphers with little character development. In other words, they are all lambs to the slaughter. But there is a key twist this time round: the mantle of Ash (Campbell’s character and the hero of the Evil Dead series) is passed on to a girl.
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The often awesomely illogical logic of horror movies is what makes them all the more fun. There’s a foul smell coming from the basement? Let’s totes find out why! Dead cats hanging from the ceiling? Oh, we DEFINITELY have to investigate  further then. Even with a book of evil spells, complete with some nasty looking illustrations that literally tell you DON’T SAY IT, the characters can’t help themselves. So of course, Eric (Lou Taylor Pudd) just has to say the magic words – and set our intrepid quintet on their way to much bloodshed. Lots and lots of it.
Evil Dead remake

The facial session was not going well. © Sony

This is horror of the old school variety, amped up by a factor of about 20. There is no slow burn here, only lots of sudden scares and doors slamming shut. THAT tree rape scene is present too, and is by all accounts, even more intense. Now, I’m as much a fan of blood and gore as the next man, but there comes a point where too much of it makes it nothing more than a scare tactic. It doesn’t bode well either, that the audience I was watching the movie with laughed at some of the most intense scenes – which were clearly not meant for comedy. “This isn’t a science book!” is Eric’s anguished cry. Well, all I can say is: this isn’t a good movie either.
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Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez seems to have been stuck with a bad script with some very poorly written characters. But then again, what do I really know? After all, reviews in the US were largely positive, and a sequel to this movie has already been green-lit. So we can all forward to more mindless violence, clueless characters and lots of demons.
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Evil Dead opens in Singapore today. Tell me what you thought of it!
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