Thursday, 18 April 2013

REVIEW - EVIL DEAD


It's the little things that count. What sets Fede Alvarez's remake of Sam Raimi's cult classic apart from the majority of equivalent modern horror movies is perspective: comedy and commitment. Tongue in cheek and chainsaw in hand, Evil Dead builds steadily to a relentless barrage of bloodletting and belly-laughs, and Alvarez shies away from neither. When he meshes the two, it's a delight. Good horrors scarcely come bloodier than this; only torture porn and the New French Extremity can rival it, and the cumulative worth of every film in either of those sub-genres is hardly higher than this one film's worth. As icky as the violence is, Alvarez's touch isn't sadistic. He uses violence as a comedic tool, and paints his film with blood, rather than splatters it. Mostly, should it serve no purpose other than to sicken viewers, he positions the gory details out of our sight. Riffing on Raimi's original, his imaginative and even artistic eye generates some memorable images, which, in terms of cabin-in-the-woods horror movies go, actually hews this Evil Dead closer to Lars von Trier's Antichrist than Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods at times. Generally, Alvarez strands the less integral scenes somewhat, and doesn't imbue them with the same verve as he does this film's best moments, but his tone is never less than satisfying, and lead actress Jane Levy is a terrific presence, chewing up scenery whether as a young woman going through a harrowing cold turkey experience, or as a demented demon, slicing her tongue in half, vomiting blood, and drinking in some killer one-liners.