Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Evil Dead (2013) (R/91 Min.)

Evil Dead photo EvilDead_zps786d14a3.jpg

Do you remember, as a teenage girl, going to slumber parties and staying up late watching scary movies and getting in trouble who knows how many times because of all the screaming said movies elicited? No? Well I do. And I loved it. I could watch anything or read any scary book and sleep like a baby. Friday the 13th? A Nightmare on Elm Street? Please. Stephen King? Yawn. Oh wait. I said “anything”, didn’t I? I meant almost anything. One movie from my formative years stuck with me. To be more specific, one scene from that movie stuck with me and can still send shivers down my spine just thinking about it. Unfortunately, after all these years I had forgotten what movie it was. I only remembered that scene. Tonight…I remembered the movie.

I went to the pre-screening of Evil Dead. It was another freebie and made me glad of two things. One, I didn’t have to pay for it and two, there were a lot of people there so I wasn’t sitting in the back row of the AMC Crossroads with nary another soul in the theater. I know that hard core horror fans will probably roll their eyes or laugh at my reaction to this film but it can’t be helped. I am proud to say that I didn’t cover my eyes even once during the entire movie though. Okay, so it’s not as pride-inducing when I remind myself that the only reason I didn’t is because we were told ahead of time that they might be filming the audience reaction and I didn’t want to be THAT GIRL. So, I clenched my hands around my purse and settled back (sort of) for the show.

Evil Dead is a remake of a movie of the same name that came out forever ago. Or 1981. It’s about five twenty-somethings who go to a VERY remote cabin to help one member of their group go cold turkey off drugs. From drugs? Anyway. She dumps the drugs down a well and begins the - what can only be super fun - withdrawal experience. While exploring a funky smell in the cabin, the guys stumble upon a Book of the Dead and, despite its being encased in barbed wire (!!!), one of them opens it, reads it and accidentally summons a demon. Creepy things starts to happen and everyone blames the main character’s fears and seeming paranoia on her desire for the drugs. Boy, were they wrong! This is a movie about possession. Not something someone owns. More like someone being owned. Have you seen those movies where an evil spirit sort of floats in to a person’s body and takes over? Yeah. This movie’s not like that.

This movie wasn’t just scary, it was gory. And then some. Fortunately for me, they took it way WAY over the top. Several parts were funny scary. Yes, it was gross but you couldn’t help but laugh. Those scenes may have saved my bacon. I needed the levity in the midst of the madness. The audience helped a lot too. One woman in particular kept things light by yelling at the screen like I do when watching movies at home. On more than one occasion she entertained us all by yelling, “Do NOT turn around!” A man somewhat close to her was heard to say, “Oh, heck no.” Okay so, I cleaned it up a little bit. It made me laugh and got me through. If the woman who sat in front of me could have, I think she’d have crawled in to the woman sitting next to her she was sitting so close. I hope they were friends.

Except for the bad acting at the very beginning of the movie it wasn’t too bad. They so needed someone else to play the dad. The opening scene was supposed to be scary but ended up cheesy. The initial scare wasn’t that scary either. I think it was supposed to be a sudden make-you-jump scare but…not so much. There were several instances in which I felt they were trying to do the same but I managed to not be startled. That is not bragging. That’s a lack in the film. Some people in the audience jumped or yelped at those times but it didn’t affect the audience as a whole. Those few moments aside they did include a scare or two. I did notice, during the credits, that my legs were shaking. I couldn't figure out why for a second and then realized I was having muscle spasms. Apparently I wasn't as unaffected as I thought.

I seem to be talking around everything while trying to not give away anything. Let’s talk about some of the characters instead.

The main character is Mia, played by Jane Levy. She’s the reason I wanted to see this movie. I DVR Suburgatory every week and thought it would be interesting to see how she handles horror. She handled it well. Her maniacal giggling was funny and spine-tingling at the same time. She got to be all kinds of creepy. That scene that I can't get out of my head??? It happens to Mia. I'm just sayin'.

Shiloh Fernandez plays Mia’s brother, David. David’s been kind of an absentee brother so we didn’t see a whole lot of love between the siblings but he’s trying. A couple of things happen that make you want to smack him for not double checking but that’s so typical in horror movies. Kudos to him though for his creative use of duct tape.

Lou Taylor Pucci plays the siblings’ mutual friend, Eric. I mention him only because, aside from Mia, his poor character went through the most trauma. Having said that, I should also mention that he totally deserved it. Pay attention to the holes on his face. Sometimes they move. Whoopsy. I’m also pretty sure that the doorknob keeps moving in the scene in which Eric goes to check on Olivia. I could be wrong.

The other two characters either didn’t get enough play or just didn’t affect me as much as the first three. Natalie’s (Elizabeth Blackmore) initial response to her peril caused a titter or twenty but her moments of glory involved so much spraying of blood and other ridiculousness that it became comical. I didn’t care much for Olivia, played by Jessica Lucas. And “that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

We were told that this movie was not yet rated but according to IMDB it’s rated R. I’m not sure how else anyone would rate it. Do horror movies ever get an X rating? If so, I’m going nowhere near those films. The same person who said it wasn’t yet rated also said that it’s inappropriate for children. That really is the best word for it. No child should see this movie. At. All. If you liked the original Evil Dead you’ll probably like this. If you like scary movies, you’ll probably like this. If your favorite kinds of movies are like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, you probably won’t like this. But then again…

Having mentioned sleepovers at the beginning of this post I should also mention that if you are a young person and are susceptible to nightmares after watching horror movies and you attend a slumber party at which this film is on the list of the night’s entertainment I would recommend calling your mom to come pick you up. You’re not going to be a happy camper. You may get teased later but I’d rather deal with teasing than what happens with an over-active imagination when the lights go out. If you’re the adult at said party, plan on not sleeping. There will be screaming.

If you’ve never seen any of the original movies then what happens after the credits, more than likely, won’t mean anything to you. If you have seen them, stick around.

P.S. One question for those of you who’ve seen this…does anyone else find the movie title placement in the poster a tad amusing? Just me again? I can live with that.

P.P.S. I would like to state, for the record, that I completely outgrew being unaffected by Stephen King books. It would take a lot to get me to read one now. No, thank you very much.


Derek Belden said...

His novel 11/22/63 was his best work in 15 years. I'd highly recommend it. I enjoyed your review of the new film. I'm all over this like blood on a Deadite.

Tarisa said...


I might check that out. In full daylight. On a weekend when sleep isn't important.