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Evil Dead [2013]: Scores High in Violence & Gore, Falls Short in Everything Else

Lacking the freshness, imagination & lasting appeal of Sam Raimi's breakthrough classic, the latest instalment in Evil Dead franchise is completely devoid of genuine shocks & scares, is severely lacking in mood & tension, and relies entirely on its ineffective gore & deafening soundtrack for audience reaction.

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Drenched in gallons of blood & jam-packed with nods to its source of inspiration, this remake, sequel & soft-reboot of The Evil Dead scores high in violence & gore but still falls short of leaving a memorable impression, thanks to its cliche-ridden narrative, uninspiring script, cringeworthy dialogues & cardboard characters.




The story of Evil Dead follows a group of friends who head to a remote cabin in the woods to help one of their own overcome her drug addiction. But their quiet time there soon turns into a nightmare when they discover an ancient book in the cellar and unwittingly release a demonic force that starts taking them one by one.

Co-written & directed by Fede Alvarez in what’s his directorial debut, the movie begins with a prologue that it could have done without. The premise is same as before with a few changes here n there but it still doesn’t make the ride thrilling by any means. It’s never gripping, it’s never scary, and the gore it packs in is never stomach-churning but amusing.

There’s a fun vibe to it when you approach it as a ludicrous B-movie, plus it revels in excess gore so it may satisfy those who are watching it just for that. Alvarez’s attempts to dial down the farcical humour of the original while upping its gleeful violence never works out, for the result is a film that’s absurdly & unintentionally hilarious.




Production design team gives its familiar setting a modern touch. Camerawork is bland, for the ominous mood & foreboding aura never sets in. Editing is mediocre at best while the shocks are cheap & unearned. Make-up & practical effects are its only highlight, and the absence of CGI is a welcome attribute. Also, the screaming score gets annoying after a while.

Characters are wooden, with no meat on their arcs, and their actions throughout the story is moronic. Maybe it was intentional or maybe it wasn’t but the lack of believable characters and deficiency in other aspects made it impossible to invest in their predicament. Performances aren’t any good either although Jane Levy at least tries to make something of her character.




 

On an overall scale, Evil Dead may surprise fans of the original for better or worse but it lacks the originality, creativity & lasting appeal of the first picture. Devoid of genuine shocks & scares, severely lacking in mood & tension, and relying entirely on its ineffective gore & deafening tracks to get a response, Evil Dead can be fun, enjoyable & entertaining if you accept it as a brainless B-movie. Or maybe not even then.

★★½

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