1. Evil Dead (REMAKE)
With his Evil Dead, Fede Alvarez made the kind of remake that critics always hope to see but rarely get: a fresh take that, while true to the original, can stand on its own two feet. Instead of simply putting new characters in The Evil Dead‘s story, Alvarez totally revamps the tone, switching out the original film’s campy humor for relentlessly brutal, gleefully gory scares. The result is one of the most disturbing, gross and wildly entertaining horror films in recent memory.
Evil Dead is fun, scary and supremely confident. Alvarez adds some clever twists – instead of typical horndog teenagers, the kids at the center of this reboot are trying to help their friend Mia (Jane Levy) kick a nasty heroin habit, and they initially mistake her possession for withdrawal symptoms – while remaining true to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink spirit of the original. It also earns points for never outstaying its welcome, clocking in an efficient 92 minutes.
It’s rare that a remake can bring something fresh to the table, but Evil Dead heralds the arrival of Alvarez as a bonafide talent as well as an extremely altered sense of purpose – scaring the pants off moviegoers as only the most nauseating gorefests can. It’s great, grisly fun.