Don’t expect dancing decapitated corpses, funny one-liners, and other slapstick elements found in Army of Darkness. You’ll be gravely disappointed. What we get here is full-on blood and guts with a dash of more blood and guts.
There are no college kids heading up to the woods to party for the weekend this time around. Setting a serious tone from the very beginning of the film, a group of old friends come together to help one of their own kick a drug habit. The plan is to keep her locked up and restrained in the family cabin until the girl is fully detoxed. She’s relapsed once and they’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
While cleaning up the old place, the bunch stumble on what appears to be an old book bound in a plastic bag by barb wires. One of them opens it and begins reading the words inside. By reciting the ancient sayings, they release a long dormant evil that takes possession of them one by one. As the friends begin dying, they frantically search for a way to bring an end to the demonic force.
I am very impressed with the depth of the story here. It would be so easy to go down the stale “kids going to a cabin to party” route again. Although the acting is wooden at times, the characters are a bit more noble and sympathetic than the usual dumb college types we get in these types of movies.
There’s no end to the visual gore in Evil Dead. From the very beginning, the viewer knows what they’re getting into. They’re going to see it all in full color. This isn’t the usual PG-13 jump-scare fiesta we’ve come to expect from today’s horror movies. Brace yourselves to see arms and legs get hacked off and gallons of blood dripping in puddles everywhere. I cringed and gritted my teeth just thinking about the pain during most scenes.
If there’s a message to Evil Dead, it’s really quite simple. Don’t screw with demonic forces or read magic incantations or passages out of an evil book. All you’re doing is asking for trouble with a capital “T.” Whether you think it’s silly or not, I’m a firm believer in this advice.
I enjoyed the dual finale of the film. It had a happy ending while leaving the audience with a warning that evil never really goes away. It’s just left waiting for some other poor soul stupid enough to give it a means to be reborn.
If you’ve been waiting for a movie to come along and satisfy your taste for graphic violence and gore, Evil Dead’ will quench your thirst for blood. Those looking for pure “Hitchcockian” suspense with a “less-is-more” attitude when it comes to horror movies need not purchase a ticket for this one. Stay after the credits to see a “groovy” surprise!