If you’re sensitive about SPOILERS, beware; at this point, just about every Evil Dead image, TV spot, trailer, interview, and more is in need of a big time spoiler warning and these new behind-the-scenes photos and film stills are no different. The new Evil Dead isn’t necessarily a film dedicated to narrative and character development rather unprecedented gore, so clearly the filmmakers are eager to show off their brutal masterpieces.
However, the film does begin in a more traditional manner, kicking off the story by introducing Jane Levy’s character, Mia. She’s a longtime drug addict, but when a recent overdose nearly kills her, her friends decide enough is enough; it’s time for Mia to clean up her act once and for all. Her childhood friends Olivia and Eric (Jessica Lucas and Lou Taylor Pucci), her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) take Mia out to her family’s cabin in the woods. Trouble is, little do they know, someone’s been squatting in their basement while they’ve been away – someone who tried to lock away a ruthless evil in that very spot. Turns out, Mia’s withdrawal is actually the least of their worries.
A lack of plot development and fully fleshed out characters is typically not a good thing, but Levy herself framed it well during this SXSW interview. She explained, “It’s not like an actor movie. It’s an action movie, it’s a horror film, it’s a slasher pic, and I think it’s like Fede’s movie and we are all just very much pawns.” Or perhaps Pucci’s substitution of the term “meat puppets” for “pawns” is more accurate.
Either way, Levy’s right. This cast undoubtedly worked hard, powering through buckets of blood, ripping limbs off, and bringing out the demon within, but rather than the film necessarily being about performance, it’s more about the action and the horror, and director Fede Alvarez’s work is so above and beyond in that respect, he goes on to earn and justify what he referred to as a "rock concert" of gore.
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Of the eight new images from the film that hit the web, only a single one shows how far Alvarez really goes – and if I were Jessica Lucas, I’d blow that baby up and hang it on a wall somewhere – but the other five stills do still give you a sense of why Alvarez was able to find such great success with Evil Dead. The guy’s got an impeccable eye for stimulating framing, blocking, and lighting. Even when it’s merely Fernandez, Lucas, and Pucci hanging out in a room sans blood, the production design and characters still pop.
Evil Dead will be in theaters on April 5th.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.