Brutal and bloodthirsty
Film Review: Evil Dead (18, general release, 92 minutes) *** Director: Fede Alvarez Stars: Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci
For those too young or sophisticated to be aware of such things, the original Evil Dead was a fiendishly clever 1981 low-budget horror film that launched the career of Sam Raimi.
A gory chiller that cleverly balanced extreme violence and black humour, it followed the ghastly travails of five students who unleash a terrible evil while holidaying in a remote cabin. Raimi has clearly given his blessing to this remake – he's a co-producer – and though it sticks pretty closely to the original's plot, the new Evil Dead differs sharply in style, and tone.
Jane Levy is Mia, a troubled young woman who has repaired to her family's old cabin in the woods to try to crack her serious drug habit. Her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and several close friends have come along to lend moral support, but things take a turn for the worse when Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) finds a sinister book in the basement that seems to be bound with skin. It's a satanic tract and when Eric starts reading aloud from it (as you do), something unholy emerges from the forest to lay waste to everything it finds.
The new Evil Dead is pretty slickly made and borrows many tricks from Korean and Japanese horror films.
It's also incredibly bloodthirsty, and unfortunately the jokes run out a long time before the blood stops spurting.