WHATEVER the value of this reboot of Evil Dead (Sam Raimi’s 1981 shoe-string horror classic), director Fede Alvarez deserves credit for coming up with myriad inventive uses for domestic hardware. Nail guns, chainsaws, electric turkey carvers, a portable generator – all come in handy in this gruesome horror.
When Mia (Jane Levy) decides to give up drugs once and for all, her brother and three of her friends suggest she gets clean by staying for a couple of weeks in a remote cabin in the middle of the woods. She starts having creepy visions, which her friends dismiss as withdrawal symptoms. It’s only when she starts trying to murder everyone that people start to think something is up.
Levy is excellent as the drug addled, recently bereaved Mia. Shilo Fernandez is also competent as her concerned but neglectful brother. The other three are perfectly good at screaming and running away, but not so proficient at delivering convincing dialogue.
Humour is also in short supply. If you insist on having a possessed girl say “I can smell your filthy soul” in a shrill, distorted voice, a dash of irony is needed to help it down.
Evil dead is more terrifyingly disgusting than terrifying. If you’re the kind of weirdo who doesn’t like watching people rip their own tongues in half with stanley knives or being repeatedly stabbed in the face with hypodermic needles, this probably isn’t for you. If you are, it’s a satisfyingly slick big budget horror.
There’s a moral to be extracted from this jamboree of gore: if you find a book in a room full of mummified cats, for heaven’s sake, don’t open it.