Director Fede Alvarez was met with a tall task when he took on the responsibility of helming Evil Dead as his directorial debut. Hand picked by Sam Raimi himself, Alvarez crafted a stylish tribute to a cult classic that I believe only he could have made. While Alvarez gave nods to the original film as well as adapting Sam Raimi’s fast pace camerawork, he still managed to put his own stamp on it as if to say, “I may be bad… but I feel gooood.”
Much like the original, there’s no messing around in the world of deadites as it doesn’t take long before things get covered in blood and souls begin to get swallowed. Once the horrors start they never let up — giving horror fans just what they asked for. If you stepped into a movie titled Evil Dead and were expecting anything more, then I’m sorry, you got it wrong. Alvarez knew exactly what he was doing when he stepped behind the camera. Why spend half the film developing characters when you could be terrorizing and dismembering them instead? This is an in your face gore-fest that moves at a relentless pace making you wonder if you should be screaming or laughing. Evil Dead is a horror film for horror fans, plain and simple.
Sure, it might not have the same B-movie cheesiness and charm of Raimi’s classic — something that could have only been achieved if Alvarez would have instead directed this entire film with a potato — it’s an entirely new beast and one that successfully revitalizes the franchise. Let’s face it, there is no denying that this was the version of the film that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell simply could not have made back in 1981 due to the shoe-string budget and limited practical effects. Alvarez took us back to a time where practical effects were a must in the genre and because of that we got 90 minutes of pure cringing terror that left a smile on my face from start to finish.
Evil Dead is the perfect homage to a beloved classic and one that should be proud to be part of Raimi’s world. It was dark, fun, kicked ass and poured on the blood. From people cringing in their seat and screaming for it to stop to the gore hounds laughing in pure joy there wasn’t a quiet seat in the room. When is the last horror film to achieve such a reaction? It’s the horror film fans have been asking for and if I had to sum it up in one word, I’d say that it was f*cking GROOVY!