If you had any concerns about the upcoming horror film Evil Dead, a re-imagining of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic, then we have some good news for you. The first reviews are in and things are looking quite positive for the Fede Alvarez-directed flick. And if that’s not enough to calm you down, we’re also hearing that a sequel is already in the works, which Alvarez confirmed this weekend.
We already provided you with a number of reasons that you should be looking forward to this film but in case you chose not to listen to us, check out what those who saw it last night at SXSW are saying. Thanks to Screen Rant for compiling these.
“Blood-drenched” barely begins to describe Fede Alvarez’s remake of Evil Dead, a gore-for-broke affair that strips the flesh off Sam Raimi’s cult-beloved comic-horror franchise and exposes the demons at its core. The presence of Raimi, original collaborator Rob Tapert, and star Bruce Campbell as producers should give the faithful permission to attend what would otherwise smell like a shameless exploitation of the 1981 film, but the high production values and nonstop action offered here should also please younger genre fans who’ve never bothered to rent it.
There are a lot of character details and behaviors in the first 45 minutes of the film that seem to be setting up things that will pay off in the second half of the film, but a surprising amount of it ends up going nowhere…What I like about the film is the way things spin so wildly out of control in the second half, [where] there are sequences that are genuinely crazy and horrifying. But in some ways, I feel like they’ve sort of forced this into a more mundane “Exorcist”-style narrative, losing the unfettered creativity and punishing imagination of the first two Raimi films…
The movie opens a bit rough, both from a performance and a script standpoint, as there’s a good deal of forced exposition that needs to be waded through, but once the characters and story really gets going all of it improves vastly… The gore factor is what ultimately makes Evil Dead such a raucous crowd-pleaser. Alvarez not only completely drenches the film is the red, sticky stuff, he does so with impressive creativity and has an impressive knack for building tension.
Evil Dead isn’t perfect. After an intense opening, the film struggles to find the right balance of pathos and humor as it introduces its main characters… And that’s pretty much the end of the film’s problems. After things kick into high gear Evil Dead becomes absolutely unstoppable. If you’ve seen the trailers, this is exactly the movie they’ve been selling all along – and somehow it still manages to surprise. For one, it’s even gorier than you’re expecting. I seriously don’t have a clue as to how they wrangled an “R” rating here…
Of course, it wouldn’t be a good horror movie if characters tried to avoid making obviously bad decisions in order to advance the plot. Wait, scratch that. It would be a good horror movie if characters stopped doing that. But it wouldn’t be what audiences want, which is all Evil Dead is really about… It is extremely well-staged, [but] that’s also all it is, with little inventiveness on display besides the visual. Evil Dead is perfectly content to tread in the footsteps of the other recent remakes of ’80s slasher films.
The Evil Dead cast across the board are pretty great, but Jane Levy truly owns this flick as the things she’s forced to endure make her performance all the more authentic and downright badass… If forced to nitpick, the only downside to Evil Dead is that during its finale it seems like no one was quite sure how to resolve everything satisfactorily… [and we] also get tied up a bit in some of the characters’ personal business in the first act…
As a whole, though, Evil Dead truly delivers on the bold promises its poster made last fall- it is downright intense, at some points even terrifying and by far one of the most brutal flicks (with an R rating) I can remember seeing on the big screen in ages.
Honestly, this doesn’t really surprise me. I had a good feeling about Evil Dead and after seeing the red band trailer, any worries I had were put to rest. The reviews coming out of SXSW, as well as the buzz being generated on forums, Twitter and in other corners of the Internet, has me very, very excited for this one. I honestly cannot wait to see what Alvarez has done with the film, as well all the blood and gore that the critics are mentioning.
Evil Dead opens in theaters on April 5th, 2013. Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comments below.