Evil Dead (2013), 18, Director: Fede Alvarez

There is a lot that is AWESOME about Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead. It's worthy of its place in the Evil Dead franchise, and is intelligently head and shoulders over any of the recent 80s horror reboots/'remakes' like A Nightmare On Elm Street and My Bloody Valentine. It's nasty, it's dirty, it's disgusting and it's brutal but there's just one little problem with it - it's not scary.
Going into this Evil Dead, you expect to come out crying. There are tales of people fainting and walking out of screenings, and the trailer was CHILLING. Coming out, you'll muster a 'that was fun' but you won't be terrified. Don't worry, you'll be able to sleep fine. Remember the absolute horror of what happened to Drew Barrymore in the opening to Scream? Patio doors at night still make us uneasy. And you can't get the ending of The Blair Witch Project out of your head - nobody makes Baby stand in the corner. Evil Dead 2013 is a great ride, with limbs flying and blood raining down on the screen, but it doesn't FILL YOU UP. It's disposable, like a pizza box or takeaway, with no iconic images that will stay with you to haunt your dreams.
So, what's right about it? There's of course the nod to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, who both produced it. They've made it for the fans, and it serves its purpose. It's ultimately a great movie. The five young friends at the cabin in the woods are spunky, and likeable. They're there for Mia (Jane Levy), a recovering drug addict who they're going to make go cold turkey in the cabin. This brings an intriguing angle to the film; as Mia battles with withdrawal, the question is what's real and what is she imagining? Can she really smell death in the cabin? (YES - that's no spoiler) Are her eyes weird due to her withdrawal, or the fact she's been possessed by a meddlesome demon? You work it out.
Alvarez, Raimi and Campbell (and an uncredited Diablo Cody, part of the screenplay team) have great fun subjecting the pretty young things to some really horrid stuff. Kings of Leon lookalike Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) is really stupid and opens the Naturom Demonto (Book of The Dead), reading out the passage to conjure up an undead shitstorm. Mia is violated by a tendril in the woods, and goes back to the cabin all Deadite to be locked in THAT cellar with the trapdoor. Olivia (Jessica Lucas) performs a DIY facelift by hacking off her pwetty visage, whilst poor, poor Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) - well, as soon as you see the electric carving knife, you know she's in for rough seas.
Act III is really where Evil Dead kicks ass; Mia becomes Ash and fights back. There's even a nice homage to the one-handed chainsaw skills of our previous cult hero. Jane Levy is fantastic throughout the film (especially as a giggling demon in the cellar, laughing at all of the carnage - hee hee hee!) but in our final act, she is a force to be reckoned with. Girl deserves some awards for what she is put through!
Screen Scenes has a strong stomach for gore, so we could sit comfortably through the yukky bits - we appreciate this may not be for all, and Evil Dead could be the most terrifying film some people have ever seen. With Mia demon screeching to her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) 'Why don't you come down here so I can suck your cock, pretty boy?', this is the Facebook generation's Exorcist. But for horror - and Evil Dead - fans, we expected a lot more.
4/5 Dead By Dawn, Dead By Dawn, Dead By Dawn, Dead By Dawn...