Evil Dead (2013 Remake/Sony
Blu-ray + Digital Copy)
Picture: B+ Sound: A- Extras: C Film: B+
So for those expecting an exact carbon copy of the original Evil Dead film, well you won’t find it
The film utilizes the same framework that Sam Raimi envisioned way
back when, but changes around key elements to make it stand on its own. The humor and campiness are all but gone for
this film, though Director Fede Alvarez does make the film very self
aware. That is to say that Evil Dead (2013) does not go for
blatant gags or outlandish humor, but rather understands that it is a reboot of
a much beloved series that DID use humor and camp to its advantage. To that end, Alvarez pushes other elements to
showcase that he is not taking the film too serious. Audiences will get to experience copious and
absurd amounts of violence and gore; so much so that it is clear Alvarez was
working hand in hand with Raimi when making these considerations. Raimi and Bruce Campbell are Producers on the
film after all.
This major-studio remake follows the same basic storyline of the
original as we watch some teens make bad choices as they spend time at a cabin
in the woods. Alvarez changes it up this
time around as we are no longer watching the escapades of premarital sex, booze
and debauchery; but instead we see a group of friends helping another as they
stage a drug intervention. Mia (Jane
Levy) is the addict, while her friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica
Lucas), and her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend (Elizabeth
Blackmore) join forces to save her. Once
at the cabin the book of the dead is discovered bound in human flesh, words
written in blood. The evil words are
spoken and the spirits of the woods are awoken.
At this point all hell breaks loose as evil spirits who are very well
versed in torture decide to make the unwitting teens their play things.
The story (as somewhat alluded to) is not the most original, but again
is not by any means a carbon copy of the 1981 release and Alvarez brands it as
his own. The film (and I don’t say this
lightly) is truly terrifying and well done.
The visuals are stunning, the deaths are gruesome, and the aura is
downright creepy throughout with whispers and altered voices at every turn. Audiences will feel as if they are the ones
being stalked as Alvarez continues to use the quick zoom moments Raimi was
known for throwing viewers right into the action. The art direction is nicely done, not overly
stylized, yet by no means natural. The
film is by no means a ‘torture porn’ either which was a smart move on Alvarez’s
part as films like Hostile, SAW, and
many others have overplayed that hand for a quick/idiotic thrill. Yes, the gore is copious. Yes, it can get
disturbing. But the self awareness
coupled with great direction, acting, and original premise makes for a fun,
well made film.
Not only was the film great, but the technical features of this
Blu-ray are also well done. The picture
is a 1080p 2.39 X 1, AVC Encoded, MPEG-4 image that is wonderful. For a film that is quite dark with a brown
hue to it, the colors are bright and bold, while blacks are deep and
framing. The image is crisp, clean and
clear throughout without distortion.
Alvarez doesn’t artificially make the film grainy like that of the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, instead
allowing the digital to digital transfer shine with detailed images and
texture. There are a few artifacts here
and there making the film less than perfect, but nothing overly
distracting. The sound is even better as
the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio will surround audiences as ever speaker is
engaged. The creepy atmosphere greater
by the sound (along with gruesome images) makes the film work very well. The screams, scrapes, and all in between are
in place for a reason and this track wonderfully displays them.
The bonus features are short with the exception of the audio
commentary, not giving us much to dive into.
I did find the commentary informative as well as the ‘Evil Dead Reboot’
featurette as we get to hear Bruce Campbell’s feelings on this remake and the
future of the series. The extras are as
Making Life Difficult
Directing the Dead
Cast & Filmmaker Commentary
Unleashing the Evil Force
Evil Dead: The Reboot
Digital Copy of the Film
For more on the original films and its predecessor, try these links:
Equinox Import PAL DVD,
the 1969 film that inspired the original
Evil Dead 1981 Ultimate
Edition 3-DVD U.S.
Limited Edition U.S. Blu-ray
Evil Dead 2 U.S.
Lionsgate 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray
Army Of Darkness:
Evil Dead 3 MGM Region 3 NTSC version vs. Anchor Bay Boomstick Region
1 Edition DVDs
Old HD-DVD/DVD Combo Edition
- Michael P. Dougherty II