Rated R / Runtime 1 hr 31 min / Horror
This is a remake of one of Sam Raimi's first films that became a cult classic. If you have seen the original then you know why it became popular. It's an interesting original story that was done on a very low budget. There are some good scares, and some parts that are just plain hilarious whether it is intentional or not. The story for this new one follows a similar formula. Some young 20-somethings go to a cabin in the woods to try to help their friend Mia kick her drug problem by going cold-turkey. One of them discovers the Book of the Dead in the basement wrapped in barbed wire and bound in human skin. Of course curiousity gets the best of them, and they start messing with it which we all know is probably a bad idea.
Mia played by Jane Levy is the only truly memmorable performance. All of the other actors give serviceable performances, but there is nothing special about them. Jane Levy has moments that are quite good at times, but others bring her back down to earth. While the acting is the weak point of the movie, it isn't bad to the point where it makes the movie less entertaining in any way. For a horror movie these days you expect terrible acting, so it's pleasantly surprising when you get slightly subpar to decent performances out of most of the cast.
Nearly everything else about this movie is excellent. The script is written to follow a similar storyline to the original which is to be expected with a remake or reboot. It has been tweaked and refined over the years. The director's attention to detail is fantastic. There are also several subtle and a few not so subtle nods to the original. This is not meant to be the same as the original though. The campiness of Bruce Campbell is completely gone. This is a serious horror movie with a good blend of jump scares and terrifying scenes with lots of gore. As the movie went on the tension built up more and more. There are some scenes where I couldn't tear my eyes away. It is a little slow at first when they are setting up the back story between Mia and her brother, but thankfully it's just long enough to help set up the mayhem to come.
I have read some negative reviews of this movie, and most of them are from people who were expecting Bruce Campbell style of cheesiness. If you want that then there is a movie that is already available to own that just happens to have the same title as this movie. It's unfair to expect this new movie to be exactly like the original. This reimagining of The Evil Dead is a serious horror movie. I really enjoyed it too. This is the best horror movie I have seen in a while. There are usually 2 or 3 really good horror movies to come out throughout the year, but you have to wade through dozens of others to find one of the good ones. This is one of the good ones. If you like horror movies then this is a must watch.