Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Horror
  • 2013
  • 91 mins [S]

Evil Dead

The Evil Dead

Synopsis

In this remake/reboot of Sam Raimi’s 1980s cult horror franchise, five friends head to the woods for a wonderful weekend of helping Mia (Jane Levy) go cold turkey on her heroin habit. The forces of darkness have other plans.

About

When Mia (Jane Levy) starts behaving strangely, the last thing that crosses her friends’ minds is that she might have a demon from hell attached to her soul “like a leech”. But then, they didn’t see what happened to her in the woods. Nor have they been privy to the events of a not strictly necessary but tasty pre-title card amuse-bouche starring a family with issues that it’ll take powers more profound than Jeremy Kyle to resolve.

The best horror movies apply the following ingredients in varying amounts: great characters, imaginative deaths, gradual build ups of suspense/dread, (a) scary or memorable villain(s), and some laughs to dispel the tension. Fede Alvarez’s take on Evil Dead draws heavily from the imaginative deaths wellspring, arguably outdoes the possessed “deadites” from the 1980s Evil Dead movies (certainly in terms of looking evil as opposed to funny), and has a decent stab at building atmosphere. Where it can’t compete is great characters and laughs – the five youths are not wholly cardboard, but Mia aside, you’d be hard-pushed to pick this lot out of a line-up the next day, and there’s no equivalent for Bruce Campbell’s enjoyably OTT Ash.

The basic set up is one of the film’s better innovations. A perennial problem in this genre is isolating your victims, which can lead to plot-supporting stupidity, wherein your hapless ensemble hang around an obvious deathtrap long after anyone possessed of even the most Darwin-baiting lack of survival instinct would have scarpered. Here, the first person to see demons happens to be a junkie going cold turkey; the rest of the gang not unreasonably assume she is in the grip of screaming withdrawal hallucinations. Ok, so it takes Lou Taylor Pucci’s character a bit longer than one might hope to fess up to having – whoops! – read out bits of what looks a lot like the Dummies Guide to Summoning Demons, but hey – nobody’s perfect.

In a nutshell

A pretty groovy remake that wears its influence lightly, Evil Dead 2013 functions as a decent, gory horror treat for those who’ve never watched an Evil Dead movie – while at the same time exhibiting discreet respect for the 1980s incarnations, with plenty of low-key nods to the original for fans.

by Catherine Bray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Amy

    Amy

    Senna director Asif Kapadia tells the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words with the use of unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks

  • Film4 Poetry

    Poetry

    When a woman receives a devastating diagnosis and discovers a dark family secret, she finds solace in a poetry class

    On Film4: 21 May 12:55AM

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Saturday Night Shocks on Film4

    Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.

  • Film4 Warm Bodies

    Warm Bodies on Film4

    Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer star in this classic tale of zombie meets girl, Jonathan Levine's rotting flesh take on Romeo and Juliet on Film4.

Watch On TV

11:00PM
Sat 23 May

New to Film4

Rent now on Film4od

Available to rent for £2.99

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • RT @SomersetHouse: Have you voted for your favourite musical yet? You've only got until Thursday! http://t.co/ZFqXCWiTHy @Film4 #Film4Summe…

  • "I'm paid to catch crooks, not get them elected." Next at 9pm, our premiere of crime thriller Welcome To The Punch. https://t.co/AWirZC74c0

  • And Johnny Harris! And Danny Mays! And Steve Oram!

  • Welcome To The Punch has a *great* cast, inc. Peter Mullan, Andrea Riseborough, David Morrissey, Jason Flemyng, Daniel Kaluuya & Ruth Sheen.

  • Coming up in an hour at 9pm, James McAvoy & Mark Strong star in London-set action-thriller Welcome To The Punch. https://t.co/7JCXaSJlvC

Share