Premise – Fede Alvarez is a Uruguayan filmmaker who directed four shorts, one TV series and two feature length horror movies – Evil Dead (2013) and Don’t Breathe (2016). In this ‘list’ I’m going to talk about the last two.
Being a young director, he’s not much experienced and his two films convey many different influences, among which Sam Raimi and David Fincher stand out. Not bad as landmarks, right?
Both of these movies are rated as horror, but in my humble opinion Don’t Breathe is more a thriller with horror elements every now and then, rather than a pure horror movie. Whilst Evil Dead is a horror flick in a more traditional way. Let’s dive into it, then.
Evil Dead (2013) is the remake of The Evil Dead (1981), which was directed by Sam Raimi and stared Bruce Campbell, who both return as producers in Alvarez film.
However, Evil Dead could be seen more as a re-imagination than a remake of the cult B-movie, since there are many difference between the two products.
The plot is kind of similar to the original, though: David (Shiloh Thomas Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) arrive at a cabin in the woods, where the pair meet up with his younger sister Mia (Jane Levy), his friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas). The group plans to stay in the cabin while Mia overcomes her addiction to heroin.
Mia’s addiction gives the group a motivation to stay in this desolated cabin, which is already a clever and unconventional element in these movies sub-genre, where usually the characters decide not to run away from the place, although there is plenty of hints pointing that the situation is going to be screwed.
When Eric, the pivotal character, opens up a book sealed in many ways, shit starts to go bad. And to me, this is the weakest element of the entire film. A dumb choice made by a stupid character that cause everything to go wrong. It’s a very cliché thing in such movies.
The other issue I have with Evil Dead consists of the blandness of Eric, Olivia and – above all – Natalie, who do nothing in the movie but being there to get possessed or brutally killed.
Luckily, our main characters are well developed and fairly acted, especially Mia, who is portrayed perfectly by Jane Levy. The young actress is able to transmit a sense of fear, desperation and anxiety through her both physical and linguistic interpretation.
Other than that, Evil Dead flows with no hitches throughout the 92 minutes long runtime, which consists of a scary and unsettling blood-fest.
Yeah, there are tons of blood in this movie. It’s actually one of the goriest Hollywood film made in the last years, since the blood is combined with mutilations, violent fights, gruesome lacerations and so on and so forth.
What’s really impressive about all of that, is the fact that the 95% of the movie is realized through practical effects and the CGI is at its smallest level. The camera work is also astonishing, considering that this is the first product of a rookie.
Also, the Raimi’s film has a strong sense of humor developed throughout the runtime that made up for the lack of good film-making values, while Alvarez movie has a sumber tone distinguishing it from the original. And to me personally, both the idea of making something different and the beautiful fulfillment of the concept elevates Evil Dead above the level of The Evil Dead.
In conclusion, Evil Dead is a good horror movie, where all the things we have seen thousands of times before are realized in a refreshing, innovative way, which turns the movie into an entertaining, edge-of-the-seat film.
So, yes, do not miss it out. Good job, Alvarez! Cheers!