Sunday, 2 June 2013

Film Review: Evil Dead (2013)

About the film
Evil Dead is a 2013 horror film and the fourth film in the Evil Dead franchise. This film is a both a remake and also a continuation of the series. Evil Dead has a run time of 91 minutes and is rated 18.

A group of five friends set out to spend some time in a cabin deep within the woods. One of the girls, Mia, is a drug addict and the trip is supposed to help her with her problem and get her clean. There to help out is Mia’s brother David, his girlfriend Natalie and other friends Olivia and Eric. It quickly becomes clear that Mia will go to any lengths to get away from the cabin and back to her bad habit. However, while in the house, the gang come across the Book of the Dead and unknowingly summon a demon which takes over Mia’s body. The demon will stop through each person, one by one, until there is only one left to fight for their life.

What I thought
It has been such a long time since I saw a horror film at the cinema. This one instantly jumped out to me and my flatmate and we were determined to go and scare ourselves before the end of uni. Even the tagline for this film told us it would be ‘the most terrifying film you will ever experience.’ I love it when films say things like this because I always wonder whether or not they’re going to be right.

Evil Dead started off extremely well. Before we meet the main characters, we are shown a lost and hurt girl in the middle of the woods. She’s obviously being followed and is then captured. What I wasn’t expecting was for them to tie her to a pillar of wood and for her own father to set her on fire. It is explained that she is possessed by a demon and must be killed to free the poor girl’s soul. The opening for this film was most definitely shocking and well filmed at the same time. At this point, I thought I was going to be in for a great film and one that I would really enjoy.  

Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from here. Mia, her brother and friends are spending time in the same cabin where the other girl was burned to death in order to sort out her drug addiction. Save for maybe Mia, the whole cast come across as inexperienced and did not make me think they were going to give anywhere near good performances. The cast are all young, mostly very good looking but are given jobs etc which make them appear to be really intelligent. It’s not a good thing for a film though when most of the characters are annoying and unlikeable to begin with.

While in the cabin, Eric, the geeky/ slightly less cool guy comes across the Book of the Dead while trying to find where the gross smell is coming from. As seemingly intelligent people, you would have thought a book covered in some kind of paper and bound with barbed wire would scream out ‘Do not open’. But no, he stupidly (and surprisingly) manages to find some pliers and opens up the crazy book. Obviously, from here, all hell breaks loose and the film really begins.

Mia goes a bit out of control, running away when things get rough and while out in the woods, the demon possesses her. From here, I began to see this as a comedy film rather than a horror. The demon comes in the form of a black, slimy vine and possesses this poor girl through her lady parts. This part of the film was so funny and I couldn’t help but laugh. My flatmate was sat cringing next to me and hiding behind her cardigan. After seeing something like that, how could I possibly take any of the rest of this film seriously? Mia quickly becomes even crazier once back at the cabin in both her mind and her looks.

As I explained in the synopsis, the demon starts with Mia and goes on to each of the other characters. As it possesses their bodies, it finds new and extremely gruesome ways for them to destroy their own body and also for them to die. Although this was not scary… at all, it was particularly disgusting to watch. At one point, a girl hacks away her own face starting from her mouth with a rusty looking knife. While some of this was good in regards to gore etc, some of it was still extremely funny. What was nice to see though was that no CGI was used. It was nice to go back to old school horror film effects.

While the effects were the best part of the film, the dialogue and plot were incredibly bad. Throughout, the dialogue is extremely cheesy and quite cringe worthy at times. The plot, although a remake, was weak and just did not make sense for the whole part. As the demon gets through the characters, more is revealed about how and why it was even possible for it to possess Mia. The background and history of the demon was weak and unmemorable, with new things being thrown in all over the place without much of an explanation. I would have loved for the demon’s background to have been better described, rather than it basically just being there.

Evil Dead was so laughable and one of the funniest films I have seen in ages. That really is no good thing considering the tag line and that it is supposed to be a horror film. Unless you want a good laugh, I cannot recommend this film at all. 

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