Review 9: Evil Dead (2013) (4.5/5)

Evil Dead

Directed by Fede Alvarez

Starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Released on April 5, 2013

Running time: 1h 31m

Rated R (originally NC-17)

Genre: Horror

Instead of black comedy, there’s brutally terrifying terror. Instead of so-over-the-top-it’s-funny blood, there’s buckets of cringe-worthy gore.
It wasn’t cringe-worthy because it was so bad. It was cringe-worthy because it’s disturbing and painful. If I had to watch you lick an X-Acto blade, slicing your tongue in half, I would cringe. Seriously.
Oh, and this movie is probably the bloodiest movie to ever come out of Hollywood.

This movie is not so much a remake as it is a sequel. The evil forces in the Naturom Demonto or Necronomicon Ex Mortis have returned, and have been updated for the 21st century. Instead of the Deadites of the ’80s being delightfully, enjoyably, laughably evil, the Deadites of 2013 are really, truly, disturbingly evil. The double or triple – hell, even quadruple – voice effect sends a chill down your spine. The way they speak gets under your skin almost as much as Hannibal Lecter (Lecktor?). They know every mistake you’ve made in the past. They know what scares you. Their words cut you to your core. They’re so evil that it’s ungodly disturbing.

Our story begins in the woods. A teenager (Phoenix Connelly) is running through the woods, terrified. She is ambushed and knocked out by two men. She awakens tied to a wooden pole, face-to-face with her dad (Jim McLarty) and surrounded by a small group of people. Her dad pours a Gatorade-bottle-full of flammable liquid on her and reveals that she killed her mother. She, after begging her dad not to set her afire, quietly utters, “I will rip your soul out”. She is revealed to be possessed by the Deadites, as her eyes turn yellow and her voice changes. And she has the ultimate potty mouth.

POSSESSED GIRL: I WILL RIP YOUR SOUL OUT, YOU PATHETIC F^CK!

[She is set afire.]

POSSESSED GIRL: MOTHERF^CKER! I WILL KILL YOU LIKE I KILLED YOUR WIFE!

[As the flames rise higher, her dad raises a shotgun and points it at her head.]

PSSESSED GIRL: F^H^H^CK! F^CK!

[Her FATHER is on the brink of tears.]

FATHER: I love you, baby.

[He pulls the trigger, blowing her head apart.]

Pardon the language. It’s not me. It’s the quotes.

We switch gears, and we focus on five young adults and their dog on their way to the cabin in the woods. They are:

– Mia (Jane Levy), a cocaine addict about to make a vow to never touch coke again, and attempt to go cold turkey,

– David (Shiloh Fernandez), Mia’s caring brother and initial suspected “replacement” of Ash from the original Evil Dead trilogy,

– Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), David’s fragile girlfriend,

– Olivia (Jessica Lucas), David’s friend who is a nurse,

– Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), David’s acquaintance, Olivia’s friend, and glasses-wearing, science-geeky know-it-all, and

– Grandpa (Inca), the gruff but lovable dog.

The group arrives at the cabin, exchange greetings, and go to the well in the back of the cabin, where Mia makes her vow and dumps her coke down the well, beginning her attempt at going cold turkey. As expected, it doesn’t end well. Not only had she attempted this before, but after she failed, she overdosed. She was legally dead for eight minutes before she was defibrillated. This time, the group intends to stay at the cabin and wait until Mia is well enough to go. As expected, this attempt causes Mia to undergo serious hangover.

Meanwhile, David and co. find the hatch to the cellar under a rug. They find a bunch of dead cats hanging from the ceiling. Ew. Eric finds something covered in black plastic and barbed wire. He takes it upstairs, cuts off the barb wire with clippers, and discovers that it is, indeed, the Naturom Demonto. He, despite multiple messages warning against him doing so (Leave this book alone)(It claws on my skull)(He is watching)(Burn b!tch)(Shatter their bones)Don’t say it Don’t write it Don’t hear it)(They open the door to him), and multiple graphic and disturbing images, he reads, “Kunda estratta montosse canda”, releasing the Deadites.

The Deadites immediately target Mia, who is outside in the rain, going through a painful withdrawal. She, not yet possessed, and after none of her friends agree to take her home, steals the keys to one of the cars and drives away. She is faced with a demonic version of herself (Randal Wilson). This causes her to swerve off the road and crash, knocking her unconscious. She wakes up, gets out of the car and runs off. She is cornered in a thicket by Demon-Mia. Demon-Mia vomits up the illegitimate child of a worm, thorny branches, and blood, which oozes up her leg and reenacts the tree-rape scene from the original ED…yikes. It is revealed that the possessed Mia kills Grandpa with a hammer after making it back to the cabin. David finds Grandpa’s body after he takes down the dead cats and prepares to throw them away. NOT THE DOG!

(AAAAH! AAAAH! AAAAH! AAAAH! OH! NO, NOT THE BEES! dog. NOT THE BEES! dog. AAAAAAAAAAAH! OH, NO, MY EYES! MY EYES! AAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAH-UURRRRRLLLLLKKK!)

David brings Mia inside and runs a shower for Mia. After David exits the shower, she, now possessed, turns the water so hot that it gives her second and third degree burns. David takes the other car in an attempt to get Mia to a hospital, but he discovers that the road is flooded. He takes Mia back to the cabin and the group prepare to wait out the night.

After the possessed Mia shoots David in the arm with a shotgun and grabs Olivia and vomits blood into her mouth – ew – David, Natalie, and Eric subdue Mia and lock her in the cellar. Olivia goes to get a sedative for Mia when the Deadites possess her. She … wets herself? Ooooookay. Ew. Eric goes to check on Olivia only to discover that she has begun cutting off her face with a piece of glass. The possessed Olivia attacks Eric with the syringe and the glass shard, shanking him with both. Eek! Eric fights back and crushes Olivia’s head with the toilet lid. And I shudder whenever i see Eric pull the needle out of the flesh just below his eye.

While David deals with Eric, Mia lures Natalie into the cellar. Mia licks the X-Acto blade, slicing her tongue in half. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

POSSESSED MIA: I can smell your filthy soul! (Beat.) NOW KISS ME, YOU DIRTY C^NT!”

[POSSESSED MIA forces a kiss on Natalie.]

Easy there, buckarooni!

David shows up and gets Natalie out of the cellar, but not before Natalie sustains a nasty bite to the hand. The possessed Mia responds accordingly.

POSSESSED MIA: Why don’t you come down here so I can suck your c%ck, pretty boy?

DAVID: [Bewildered.] Mia?

POSSESSED MIA: MIA’S NOT HERE, YOU F^CKING IDIOT! … YOUR LITTLE SISTER’S BEING RAPED IN HELL!

[DAVID slams, bolts, nails, and chains the cellar hatch shut.]

David returns to Eric and Natalie goes to the sink to wash the bite. The Deadites possess the arm, but she cuts it off with an electric knife. Yikes.

Meanwhile, Eric tries and fails to burn Naturom Demonto, and reveals the three ways that they can save Mia – full body dismemberment, live burial, or purification by fire. Natalie is found by David and brought to Eric. To save her, they’ll have to kill her.

The Deadites’ plan is revealed – a demon known as the Taker of Souls will, one by one, steal their souls. Once five souls have been taken, the sky will bleed again, and the demon known as the Abomination will rise from Hell.

A possessed Natalie attacks David and Eric with a nail gun, then savagely beats David and mutilates Eric with a crowbar. Ow. David shoots Natalie’s other arm off with the shotgun, and the Deadites leave Natalie. David cradles Natalie in his arms as she bleeds to death.

David, leaving Eric to rest, comes up with his plan to save Mia: He will go down into the cellar to knock out Mia with a syringe full of anesthetic, then bury her alive with a plastic bag over her head to prevent her from inhaling the dirt. He will dig her up, then restart her heart with a makeshift AED. Mia, David, and Eric will then leave.

DAVID: This time, the only f^cking way is the hard way.

The plan immediately falls apart as the possessed Mia quickly subdues David and attempts to drown him in the now-flooded cellar. Eric comes in and, though mortally wounded by the possessed Mia, knocks her out with a crowbar before succumbing to his wounds and dying.

David carries Mia upstairs, dresses her in a nice red dress, and digs a hole. Mia wakes up and taunts David about the events leading up to their mother’s death. David is only briefly fazed, and continues his task. Mia attempts to use the plastic bag to smother herself, but David is too quick. The burial is completed.

David digs Mia up, and desperately attempts to restart Mia’s heart, and just when all hope is lost, Mia awakens, fully healed from her burns, slit tongue, and other injuries, and reunites with her brother.

Her brother goes inside to grab the car keys. The possessed corpse of Eric stabs David in the neck with a pair of wire cutters.

POSSESSED ERIC: HE’S COMING.

David, with the shotgun, shoots a container of gasoline, immolating himself and Eric, and destroying the cabin. Mia mourns David in front of the burning wreck.

Since five souls have technically been taken, it begins raining blood, and the Abomination rises from Hell. Mia arms herself with a chainsaw – GROOVY – and duels the Abomination. After a really nasty fight – she receives two cringe-worthy slashes to her arm and her leg and cringe-worthily loses her left hand – she finally faces down the Abomination and, in the most gruesome but satisfying fashion possible, this happens:

ABOMINATION: I WILL FEAST ON YOUR SOULLLLL.

[MIA mounts the chainsaw on her left arm stump.]

MIA: FEAST ON THIS, MOTHERF^CKER

[MIA shoves the chainsaw into ABOMINATION’S mouth, and then vertically chainsaws ABOMINATION in half.]

Insert myself in place of Dave Bowman from 2001: A Space Odyssey going through the Star Gate. Seriously. That was truly COSMIC. I mean, seriously, THAT WAS AWESOME!

Mia, a better, stronger woman after tonight’s events, walks off into the sunrise, covered in blood.
We then pan to the blood-soaked Naturom Demonto, which closes by itself.

Bruce Campbell shows up for a cameo in the credits. “Groovy.”

Jeez. That crazy movie truly was pure and simple FUN!
Scary as hell, gore that reaches a 10.5 on the Holy-Crap-o-meter, disturbing Deadites, likable characters, and a hotter-n-hell Jane Levy (who’s my new celeb crush). This was a fun ride.

As a sequel, it’s pretty freakin awesome. It is one of very few movies that have even come close to quenching my thirst for gore.

Now, obviously, this is not for fans who think Ash is the absolute staple of the series. He only shows up for the credits cameo. But other than that, I’m not sure I understand why this movie is hated by filmgoers. Hell, BRUCE CAMPBELL WAS ONE OF THE PRODUCERS!

But forget about that. The plan is this: there will be another E.D. movie with Mia, and then the universes of Mia and Ash will intertwine in the final struggle against the Deadites.

Groovy.

UPDATE: The next ED movie starring Mia has been cancelled. But there will still be a sitcom known as Ash vs. Evil Dead.

I can live with that.

Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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