SWALLOW YOUR SOUL
A “From the Dark Side” review by Kerr Lordygan
I refrained from watching the original “The Evil Dead” again before watching the new remake, leaving myself open to whether the remake would stand on its own. And it does. In fact, I feel like peeps that haven’t seen the original would be frightfully delighted by this film. It’s a creative and cartoon-ey gory romp, which I did enjoy. Granted, I was cackling through much of it (a common response from me at the sight of brutally clever gore).
Now don’t go expecting any major character development, or even insight. We do have the backstory of Mia (Jane Levy) and her normally absent brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), who lost their mother to mental illness years prior. We also have the premise that Mia’s friends, and brother, are taking her to their family cabin to force her to sober up and begin drug detox. Blah blah blah, right? But such a set-up allows for the expected gore-fest to permeate through our brains. After all, that’s what we came for.
Trying to do this without giving spoilers but…well, kids in a cabin are attacked by demons and shit gets gross. Guess that’s not giving too much away. We want to see chainsaws, carving knives, blood-puke, tree-rape and severed, well…everything. Check!
I was pleased to see Jessica Lucas from The CW’s “Cult” play a more edgy character than what we’re used to seeing on TV. Here, she’s Olivia, a nurse friend mandating Mia’s detox. The highlight performances are by Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric, the well-delivered understated comedic hero, and Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie. Blackmore is a nice surprise when her typical horror-blonde role turns into something more…er, meaty.
Director Fede Alvarez’ film is intertwined with beautiful shots and quirky zombified performances that crackle, incorporating sharp body movements and amazing theatrical makeup. And the demon-speeding-through-the-woods shots that we’ve come to love in the original are still in tact and still effective.
What the film may lack is interesting characters and their development. But not really because…we didn’t come to see that. Would it have made it a better film? Maybe. But a more enjoyable one? Not necessarily. The point is to see how creative and clever the gore is. “Evil Dead”, the remake, is definitely a success on that level.
Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Release Date: April 5, 2013
Run Time: 91 Minutes
Distributor: Film District