In our Evil Dead (2013) Review we talk about how it is a great example of a horror remake done right. The bones of the original are still there, but Fede Alvarez creates something unique with this new film. While the original The Evil Dead is essentially a student film with a subversive streak, the 2013 Evil Dead is a high budget mainstream Hollywood horror movie with the gore turned up to 11.
Evil Dead 2013 Synopsis
The film is about a group of five friends that unwittingly summon ancient demons to a remote cabin in the woods that possess them one by one. Mia, a heroin addict played by Jane Levy, is the reason for the five of them being at her parents’ cabin in the woods. With the help of her brother David (
Shiloh Fernandez), his hotty girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), the brainy Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), and Nurse Olivia (Jessica Lucas), Mia is attempting to quit drugs cold turkey. This comes after a series of failed attempts and a particularly bad overdose where she actually died and had to be revived.
What none of them realized is that while the cabin was abandoned by David and Mia’s parents, it was broken into and used for a demonic exorcism. Left behind was an ancient Book of the Dead that has been wrapped in a garbage bag and barbed wire. Despite the safeguards and very obvious warnings written in blood, Eric, opens the book and proceeds to read an incantation that releases a powerful force of evil.
This evil first attacks and possesses Mia in the woods, and then one by one infects the other cabin dwellers, until only one remains…
Evil Dead Remake Review
Evil Dead is a remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 The Evil Dead. It keeps some of the building blocks from the original, like the Necronomicon, the cabin in the woods, and the five friends, but this is definitely its own movie. The tone is dramatically different. While The Evil Dead is essentially a student film with a subversive streak, the 2013 Evil Dead is a high budget mainstream Hollywood horror movie with torture porn influences.
This movie, to me is an example of a remake done right. This isn’t just an attempt to rehash a script with a higher budget. This remake really does create something different from the same ingredients of the original. The story and visual elements that are taken from the original are respectfully handled and well integrated into the new version. I found the storyline of Mia attempting to quit heroin to add another dimension to the plot. It helps to define the characters through their relationship to Mia, and give the whole party a motive for being there.
The violence and blood is turned up to 11 in this movie and veers more towards the torture porn of the early 2000s. While there were some moments that were very disturbing, I thought it was artfully done and didn’t ever cross the line into tasteless or exploitative.
Overall, I really liked this movie, and I think it stands alone as a great horror movie
Evil Dead (2013) Score
Evil Dead (2013) Spoilers and Discussion
Expand for Spoilers
The film opens strong with what we assume is a “final girl” being chased through the woods by hillbillies. They capture her and take her to a basement full of hanging dead cats.
We find out that among her captors is her father that reveals that she has killed her own mother. An old woman reads out of a ancient tome that the only way to save the young girls’ soul is to burn her alive right there. So they do.
It’s dark early in this film.
We are then introduced to the main characters, which are as follows:
- David (Dudebro)
- Eric (Nerd)
- Natalie (Hottie)
- Olivia (Nurse)
- Mia (Junkie/David’s sister)
The reason that they all go to the cabin is to help Mia quit opiates cold turkey. Mia’s drug addiction serves several purposes in this movie:
- It allows for quick character development by showing each of their relationships and attitudes towards Mia and each other
- It gives a good reason for them to all be in a super secluded cabin all together.
- It gives Mia’s friends an excuse to themselves why Mia would be acting crazy.
When they arrive at the cabin, Mia notices a rank smell in the cabin, but the others don’t seem to notice or care. Soon they do investigate and find the scene of the burning at the beginning of the movie. Dead cats and all.
There among the swinging dead cats, they find a book wrapped in a garbage bag and barbed wire. Erik, curious about the obviously dangerous item, unwraps the barbed wire and bag to reveal a book bound with human skin. The Necronomicon.
Despite many obvious and ominous warnings from the text and notes in the book (writen in blood), Erik proceeds to read from the text and unwittingly releases an evil power into the world.
The evil presence attacks Mia in the woods by binding her limbs with vines and tree branches and raping her, it’s easier to show than describe:
Mia comes back to the cabin and proceeds to vomit an obscene amount of blood onto Olivia.
This in effect infects Olivia who goes on to attack Eric after mutilating herself.
Natalie is attacked by Mia who has been shoved down into the cellar to protect the others. During the attack, Mia shows how crazy she is with this scene:
Each Cabin occupant is brutally attacked and infected in turn until only David is left. He saves his sister by burying her alive and then reviving her.
The reunion is short-lived because they are both attacked by Erik and Natalie.
The final scenes end in a blood bath. A literal rain shower of blood.
In the end, Mia gets away by wielding a chainsaw and cutting Natalie down the middle.
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Who would like Evil Dead
This film isn’t necesarily for all the fans of the original. This one is notably less goofy fun than the original trilogy. But if you are a fan of Modern Gore that has an actual story line with characters, you should enjoy this movie.
If you like horror movies set in the woods, check out our review on The Ritual available on Netflix.