Evil Dead [2013]

3 stars and a half


Directed by: Fede Álvarez
Written by: Fede Álvarez, Rodo Sayagues
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore

Growing up is scary. Impending war is scary. Sitting on the bus next to an ex-con/former addict/religious fanatic and listening to him tell you how he stabbed his brother to death is scary (this actually happened, eek!). Horror movies are not scary, or at least not for this guy.

So when I say Evil Dead wasn’t scary it’s not a dig at a single film but a whole genre that just can’t elicit the desired response from this viewer, be it via victims of Satanic possession, unexpected house visitors from the great beyond or things that go bump in the night. What I’m trying to say is you’ll be hard pressed to find me frightened of something in a horror flick the way you’d see me moved to tears by a great drama or laughing my ass off with a great comedy. It just doesn’t do it for me.

So, if I wasn’t the least bit scared by Evil Dead why don’t I consider it a disappointment? The answer is simple. The movie’s so damn fun! The writing leaves a lot to be desired but first-time feature director Fede Álvarez leads the camera around like a pro and cranks the gore level up to 11 to deliver a bloody, entertaining (and bloody entertaining!) spooky flick. Suburgatory‘s Jane Levy is pretty good as Dead‘s main character, Mia, giving a solid, layered performance (a rarity in horror) in a film that keeps making your jaw drop lower and lower with its propensity for insane bodily harm and a fondness for the red fluid. Non-horror fans: you could do a lot worse.