‘Evil Dead,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


At the point when it actually starts to rain blood near the end of the remake of “Evil Dead,” you would think that things couldn’t get any gorier.

And of course you’d be wrong.

You’ve got to say this for filmmaker Fede Alvarez: He knows how to bring the blood – not to mention the horror.

To say that “Evil Dead” is a film for a specific audience is an understatement. If things like dismemberment and self-mutilation make you queasy – as they would any normal person – then you probably shouldn’t even visit the same multiplex where this film is showing.

If, on the other hand, you Googled the video of Kevin Ware breaking his leg in last weekend’s NCAA tournament – and watched it more than once, this is the movie for you.

Sam Raimi’s original film was made for pennies over the course of a couple years in the late 1970s before finally being released in 1981. He did a the slightly more expensive sequel (in many ways a remake itself) called “Evil Dead 2” in 1987. If they’re on your greatest-hits list, this is your cup of gruesome. You probably already have your tickets. You may already be in line.

I saw “Evil Dead 2” before I saw “Evil Dead” and always found it the more frightening film, if only because Raimi had really figured out the tricks of the trade. So has Alvarez, who uses the same sort of set-up with this film, then takes it to new levels.

I’ll admit that I’ve lost interest in horror films because so many of them deal with supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves and zombies. Sorry, I have a hard time buying into that particular fantasy world.

The rest of what passes for modern horror mostly follows the template of films like “Saw” and “Hostel,” which traffic primarily in violent sadism. Again, no thanks.

So I wasn’t expecting much from this version of “Evil Dead.” But, like last year’s “Cabin in the Woods,” this film has a sense of humor, as well as a straightforward and relentless approach to its tale of demonic possession.

It didn’t convince me that such things exist. But there is something about a film like this – a momentum and energy that sucks you into its closed and scary little world, then won’t let go. And that includes the numerous false endings, which pile up like the corpses in this film.

This review continues on my website.

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