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The Cinephile: Evil Dead (2013) Film Review

Dear Reader, “ As I mentioned earlier, I am a film lover. The one genre that shall always hold a special place in my heart has to be horror. This is one type of review blog that I call “The Cinephile.” Feel free to recommend any further films, that you would like me to review. You may either email me at scb4t@virginia.edu or message me on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/Corbin007). Now, without further ado, here is my first review for “The Cinephile.”

“Once you unleash evil, it will consume you.” That is one of the multiple captions attached to Fede Alvarez’s highly anticipated Evil Dead – the rebirth of Sam Raimi’s 1981 horror classic. I just got back from seeing a premiere screening, and this film has been constantly on my mind. Before starting this review, I will say that this is not only a proper remake, but this film is an awesome horror film. Director Fede Alvarez deserves a large amount of praise because he not only created a remake that was very respectful to its original material, but he also filmed one of the most effective horror films in years. The story is similar and different, when compared to the original film. We are given four friends, David, Natalie, Olivia, and Eric, who have all gathered together to help the fifth, Mia (played superbly by Jane Levy from ABC’s Suburgatory), through a battle with drug detox. One of the friends winds up discovering an ancient book and reads a forbidden passage. This ultimately leads to some of the most brutal events as, one by one, the friends are taken over by demonic entities. All of this leads to a final bloodbath in which one remaining friend must fight to survive. Ultimately, the film is a true success. With breathtaking cinematography, incredible music, mesmerizing practical effects, a crazy and twisted story, and nightmarish brutality, Alvarez’s Evil Dead ultimately proves itself as another horrifying masterpiece for both old and new fans. First of all, the new Evil Dead is one of the most beautifully shot horror films in recent years. From its usage of the fast roving camera through the woods – most reminiscent of Sam Raimi’s original – to the eerie scenes in the cabin and the woods, Alvarez proves he is a master of imagery. Each scene held a stunning sense of beauty to pair with the horrific and gruesome events of the film. Furthermore, the film truly works as a perfect cinematic experience when the cinematography and practical effects are used to their full potential. Speaking of the practical effects, this film deserves yet another round of applause. The film goes against the Hollywood norm of using CGI, and it returns to the classic use of prosthetics, makeup, puppetry, and gallons (over 50,000 gallons) of fake blood. This proves to give the film some of its really frightening qualities as it made each mutilation or demonic visage much more realistic than your average computer generated imagery. The true power of these practical effects is especially realized in the film’s finale where a deluge of blood pours from the sky. The power of the horror in the film though does not just lie in its very realistic gore, but also in its suspense, which is heightened with powerful sound effects and music. In terms of sound effects, the film was able to really provide a nail biting and edge-of-your-seat power by emphasizing horrific sounds. This ranges from hearing characters mutilating themselves off screen or demonic growls and breathing in the darkness of this cabin in the woods. Probably the most disturbing use of the sound effects involved a scene in which one of the characters is heard slicing chunks of her own face off while hidden in the darkness. Furthermore, in terms of music, the praise all goes to the incredible Roque Banos. His usage of soft beautiful melodies mixed with loud operatic horror music called back to classic horror scoring that felt nostalgic while also adding to the film’s suspense and overall fright factor. From the impressive opening scene to the film’s finale, Banos’ score and the sound effects made this film a truly wild ride of high octane suspense and grueling terror. Thus, we come to the brutality of the film. Being a part of Sam Raimi’s universe, Evil Dead is easily the most brutal horror film to get a wide release in a very long time. However, unlike torture porn films (like Saw or Hostel) that make the horror feel like punishment, this film utilizes gore in a gleeful sense. Although the film oozed with urine, vomit, blood, bone fragments, brains, pus, and other gross things, it never lost its entertainment factor. In fact, throughout the movie, the audience applauded and cheered during certain segments because of these outrageously gruesome moments. This is a factor that will definitely prove effective for diehard fans of the original as well as horror fans in general. Evil Dead is not only an incredibly brutal film, but it is one of the most entertaining brutal horror films to be released in quite some time. Overall, Alvarez truly delivers a diehard horror film that definitely deserves recognition and respect. It shows absolute respect for the original while twisting the story at times to make a whole new movie. It’s a fun, horrifying, and insane cinematic experience that should not be missed, and it definitely deserves multiple viewings. This is the horror film that I have been waiting for, and I could not be happier. Evil Dead is without a doubt one of the best horror experiences to have at the cinema this year. Guaranteed!

Posted in The Word of Bond on April 16, 2013




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