Evil Dead, 2013

The difference between the original Evil Dead and the remake is astonishing. Gone from the remake is the slapstick comedy and goofy special effects that were so essential to Sam Raimi‘s early work; in their place are the special effects of a big budget horror film and a seriously creepy plot.

David (Shiloh Fernandez), his drug addicted sister Mia (Jane Levy) and their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) take a trip to an isolated cabin to help, as a group, get Mia free from her addiction and fully detoxed. During their time in the cabin they discover a trap door that leads to a very basic cellar, one filled with objects associated with witchcraft and a copy of what is later found to be the Book of the Dead.

Eric reads the Book of the Dead without understanding what it does and ends up summoning an evil force to the cabin. All attempts to flee are unsuccessful, leaving the friends trapped, left to confront the evil force which has taken control of Mia.

Director Fede Alvarez removes the campy features of the original Raimi version of Evil Dead and in its place adds a nicely acted horror movie filled with attention-grabbing special effects, while still leaving small homages to Raimi’s Evil Dead. The movie is creepy, well-crafted, and an effective, if not terribly original combination of the original version and Alvarez’s updated version. While it may not be the most original horror film (even of 2013) it’s watchable and will entertain viewers regardless of  its flaws.