First ‘Evil Dead’ Reviews Emerge Online; Sequel in Development

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 11th, 2013 at 6:45 am,

Evil Dead Trailer 2013 570x300 First Evil Dead Reviews Emerge Online; Sequel in Development

Director Fede Alvarez and producer Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead remake originated as the bane of existence for people who adore Raimi’s 1981 cult classic horror flick, but the tide of public opinion has altered course since a gleefully-bloody teaser premiered at the 2012 New York Comic-Con (with Raimi and Ash himself, actor Bruce Campbell, lending their unabashed support).

Anticipation rose higher once an even gnarlier trailer was unveiled, culminating with hordes of enthusiastic fans attending the movie’s opening night premiere at the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) media arts festival. Alvarez took advantage of the event to announce that writing on a sequel to the remake (yep) has begun, which sounds like a smart maneuver (going by the film’s promising box office prospects and initial reception).

We’ve assembled together informative excerpts from the first wave of Evil Dead reviews to hit the ‘Net. Each of these paragraph-long ‘sound bites’ are SPOILER-FREE and edited to be as concise as possible, so you don’t need to worry about ruining any surprises for yourself ahead of time (for a more detailed breakdown, click on any of the respective site links to read the full review).



“Blood-drenched” barely begins to describe Fede Alvarez’s remake of Evil Dead, a gore-for-broke affair that strips the flesh off Sam Raimi’s cult-beloved comic-horror franchise and exposes the demons at its core. The presence of Raimi, original collaborator Rob Tapert, and star Bruce Campbell as producers should give the faithful permission to attend what would otherwise smell like a shameless exploitation of the 1981 film, but the high production values and nonstop action offered here should also please younger genre fans who’ve never bothered to rent it.

Hit Fix

There are a lot of character details and behaviors in the first 45 minutes of the film that seem to be setting up things that will pay off in the second half of the film, but a surprising amount of it ends up going nowhere…What I like about the film is the way things spin so wildly out of control in the second half, [where] there are sequences that are genuinely crazy and horrifying. But in some ways, I feel like they’ve sort of forced this into a more mundane “Exorcist”-style narrative, losing the unfettered creativity and punishing imagination of the first two Raimi films…

evil dead release date rating First Evil Dead Reviews Emerge Online; Sequel in Development

Cinema Blend

The movie opens a bit rough, both from a performance and a script standpoint, as there’s a good deal of forced exposition that needs to be waded through, but once the characters and story really gets going all of it improves vastly… The gore factor is what ultimately makes Evil Dead such a raucous crowd-pleaser. Alvarez not only completely drenches the film is the red, sticky stuff, he does so with impressive creativity and has an impressive knack for building tension.

Bloody Disgusting

Evil Dead isn’t perfect. After an intense opening, the film struggles to find the right balance of pathos and humor as it introduces its main characters… And that’s pretty much the end of the film’s problems. After things kick into high gear Evil Dead becomes absolutely unstoppable. If you’ve seen the trailers, this is exactly the movie they’ve been selling all along – and somehow it still manages to surprise. For one, it’s even gorier than you’re expecting. I seriously don’t have a clue as to how they wrangled an “R” rating here…

Evil Dead 2013 Image Red Band Trailer 570x300 First Evil Dead Reviews Emerge Online; Sequel in Development

Shock Till You Drop

Of course, it wouldn’t be a good horror movie if characters tried to avoid making obviously bad decisions in order to advance the plot. Wait, scratch that.  It would be a good horror movie if characters stopped doing that.  But it wouldn’t be what audiences want, which is all Evil Dead is really about… It is extremely well-staged, [but] that’s also all it is, with little inventiveness on display besides the visual. Evil Dead is perfectly content to tread in the footsteps of the other recent remakes of ’80s slasher films.

Dread Central

The Evil Dead cast across the board are pretty great, but Jane Levy truly owns this flick as the things she’s forced to endure make her performance all the more authentic and downright badass… If forced to nitpick, the only downside to Evil Dead is that during its finale it seems like no one was quite sure how to resolve everything satisfactorily… [and we] also get tied up a bit in some of the characters’ personal business in the first act…

As a whole, though, Evil Dead truly delivers on the bold promises its poster made last fall- it is downright intense, at some points even terrifying and by far one of the most brutal flicks (with an R rating) I can remember seeing on the big screen in ages.

evil dead jane levy trailer First Evil Dead Reviews Emerge Online; Sequel in Development

So, these first critical impressions of Evil Dead can be summarized as follows:

  • This movie IS as disturbingly bloody and nasty as they come.
  • Jane Levy gets put through the motions (physically and emotionally), but rises to the challenge and earns her crown as “the new Ash.”
  • The script aims to give the story more substance, but with limited success.
  • Alvarez comes closest to capturing (and exceeding) the demented zest of Raimi’s original film in the second half.

One matter which is emphasized throughout all these reviews is that Evil Dead ought to be seen in a packed theater, as everyone agrees this is a true cinematic “event” and you shouldn’t experience it for the first time alone. Similarly, no one is denying that Alvarez’ retelling has significant flaws; however, it sounds as though this is one cult horror remake which may actually live up to expectations (and leave viewers wanting to see a sequel).

We’ll find out soon enough if these initial impressions hold true for other critics and the general public alike, when Evil Dead opens in U.S. theaters on April 5th, 2013.

Check out the red band trailer, below:


Source: Shock Till You DropTHRHit FixCinema BlendBloody DisgustingDread Central

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. So is someone getting a chainsaw hand or not?

    • The exact same thought went though my mind

      • I saw a screen shot, on a think Collider, that shows one of them holding what appears to be an electric turkey carver whole holding up her left hand. Could mean nothing, but who knows.

        • Wow.

          on I think* and while holding*

    • Is someone getting raped by a tree root or not, is what I want to know. That there to me is the litmus test. If they took out the inter-species raping, then they’ve bowed to political correctness. If they left it in there and maybe enhanced it with some arboreal sexual gymnastics, then I am convinced they pulled out all the stops and this is the real deal.

      The original Evil Dead battered my young psyche and was one of the few truly terrifying movies I ever watched (the sequel was a big joke). Ovbiously I’m too old now to be scared by a horror film, but I still want to wince and squirm. I hope this will make me do that.

      • I could be wrong, but I feel like one of the trailers kinda showed the tree scene happening. Though they may have pulled it out completely. I know Sam Raimi later apoloigized for the scene in the original, saying that it was a little too mysoginist(sp?). But who knows, it sounds like Alvarez went all out with this remake.

      • The rape doesn’t seem to have been a polarizing topic at all.
        There’s been little demand for its inclusion (as proof of authenticity or anything else) and no apparent uproar from whatever constitutes “political correctness.” For all you know there are far worse things featured in this film, so unless tree rape has some special significance for you -as an individual- it shouldn’t be an issue.
        Hey didn’t the “joke” sequel have tree rape?

        • The sequel didn’t have the tree rape scene but I find it funny people say “joke sequel” like it’s a bad thing. Wasn’t Evil Dead 2 meant to have more comedy in it?

          Anyway, yeah all the trailers so far show the tree rape scene being in the remake.

          • bruce camble should have won best actor of all time for evildead 2

      • “and even recreating the controversial tree rape from the original, this time with their own twisted (and no less tasteless) spin.”

        From IGN’s review. So yes there will be one :D

      • Yes, someone gets raped by a Tree. I Saw ti when they had a screening at my college and DAMN!!! i’m not going near tree’s ever again, It’s just really scary, and so F’d up and wild and crazy, to know that it was originally NC-17 i’m wondering How crazy it can get.

  2. One of my top anticipated films. I remember watching the old ones when I was a kid. Hope this lives up to expectations.

    • Apparently Jane Levy who is a woman can… according to this.

  3. READ early reviews of ‘Evil Dead’! People this is not a reboot it a new vision at the same time Sam Raimi is working on Evil dead 4 with Ash coming back if all goes well we may be looking at a 5 and 6 as well. Evil Dead is going to be told in both visions the new more realistic one and continue the classics with Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi.

    • Good then I’ll just wait for an actual Evil Dead movie and this movie can go play to the Saw crowd.

      • Dude, I’d still check it out if I were you. Don’t be one of those people who complain without seeing it. You have no credibility bashing it if you haven’t at least given it a chance. It’s NOT the original, but by the time the gears start grinding in the second act, it gets pretty damn good. It’s a pretty fun movie.

  4. One thing I think that’s really helping this movie is the marketing. Not only do the trailers do an incredible job at showing the gore, but they aren’t trying to trick audiences into thinking this is an “original” film. They aren’t trying to make modern audiences think there never was an original, they are advertising this film AS a reimagining. “From the makers of the original horror classic, comes a new vision” I just like that instead of acting like the originals never happened, they are getting audiences to go watch the original films before seeing this new one.

    And I think Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell working on the film helps A LOT. I can’t say it would have looked as good as it does without their insight. I can’t wait for this new Evil Dead, glad to here it’s good :)

  5. Hey Sandy! Jane Levy plays Mia, so I’m confused as to how she earns the crown of “the new Ash.”

    LOL. Nice work.

    • I retract this… as now I learned there is no ash at all…

      …derp. A bit confusing…

  6. It’s become a question of accepting bad signs.
    They’re pushing the sequel into development already? Bad. Wrong reason to make a movie. It’s just product. Newsflash chief; test audience reactions don’t prove it’s a good film.
    People making rationalizations? “Of course, it wouldn’t be a good horror movie if characters tried to avoid making obviously bad decisions in order to advance the plot. Wait, scratch that. It would be a good horror movie if characters stopped doing that. But it wouldn’t be what audiences want, which is all Evil Dead is really about…” Yeah and you still sound upset about getting Gobots instead of Transformers as a kid. The audience likes to watch horror movie characters make bad moves so they can dread the inevitable consequences. Ideally we would know there’s something bad behind Door Number 1 but the characters would think there was something good there, so we wouldn’t be required to invest concern in someone who would choose a course of action that seems ridiculous, which is almost impossible. For instance, we know what happens when someone reads from the Necronomicon, but the writing on the cover said “Free Money Spells” so the unknowing protagonist reads from it anyway. The dork in the trailer reads from a book with warnings all over it and gets butchered. Assuming he thinks monsters are real, why do that? If he doesn’t think they’re real, why do that?
    People complain about my wordy analysis of this issue? Maybe, but it can’t have happened before I post this. But why frown on thinking about the movie, unless you just want to get caught up in some hype, in which case go watch ‘Scream 45′ or ‘Scary Movie 83′ and leave ‘Evil Dead’ alone.
    On the bright side the sooner these awful conventions get established the sooner they’ll pass as a trend. It can’t go on forever. It’s not worth getting annoyed about. I’ll rent it.

    • Wasn’t that exactly what “Cabin in the Woods” was all about? breaking those clichéd horror movie conventions?

      It’s probably my favourite film of the last 10 years, but it went over like a lead balloon with the average horror film audience.

      I absolutely HATE when people do stupid things for the sole purpose of advancing a plot device. I can NOT be the only horror movie fan who feels that way, can I?

  7. Loved the original trilogy (I think they’re Raimi’s only good movies other than Darkman and Drag Me To Hell) so I’m really looking forward to this remake.

    I just hope we don’t get limb amputation and replaced with some sort of weapon because while it was fun in the originals, this looks to be a more serious take on it so that aspect would be out of place. Plus no one would pull it off (or the slapstick involving the possessed hand) better than Bruce.

  8. EVIL DEAD = Horror film of the Year. Now all we need is the Jason vs Freddy vs Myers film that has been in limbo to be made. And yes Freddy would be played by Robert Englund one last time.

    • This sounds like fiddle faddle but I hope it comes true

  9. From a Aintitcool review they say if we want to know if this is a requel prequel sequel to stay after the credits. So…. pretty much theres gonna be something at the end

  10. How come screen rant doesn’t get advance screenings of anything?

    • Are you asking about us giving away passes for movies?

      • Yes?

  11. I’m so friggin’ stoked for this.