Evil Dead is pure chop and slash. And of the remake variety. That means the chopping, slashing and mutilating isn't as much fun as Sam Raimi's 1981 original, but it looks more realistic.
If this is your thing, Evil Dead is a fun movie. Co-writer/director Fede Alvarez does a pretty good job with his first full-length movie. Alvarez gets writing help from Raimi's original premise and dialogue duty from Oscar-winner Diablo Cody, who penned Juno.
Alvarez changes the story a bit. He sends actors Jane Levy (Fun Size), Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood), Lou Tayor Pucci (The Music Never Stops), Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore to a remote cabin where they encounter a demonic presence from a Book of the Dead.
Levy's Mia is an addict trying to get clean and sober. What better place? Fernandez is a not-so-loving brother who has never been there for her and a not-so-good friend to the others. In the original, there is an audio recording that goes with the book. Here, it's Pucci's character reading the incantations.
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The good news is the film is co-produced by Raimi, original star Bruce Campbell and others from Raimi's original series. Their approval should give those that love this kind of crap some hope for this one. The bad news is the movie looks like every other chop and slash film. Blood, gore and death happen in nonsurprising and been-there-done-that ways.
Evil Dead could also use a little humor. This stuff is much more fun when it's funny. Do, however, stick around for the credits. The most fun of the movie is the clip that follows them.
Director: Fede Alvarez
Stars: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Rated R for gore, violence and language. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.