Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Evil Dead opens in Seattle on Friday, 4/5 and is screening at the Regal Meridian 16, the Landmark Varsity, and Thornton Place}

Holy shit you guys. Holy. Shit. I was really hoping the Evil Dead reboot would be awesome, but I had no expectations that it would be as fantastically amazing as it turned out to be. As a horror fan, I gotta tell you that this is one of the finest examples of the genre that I’ve ever seen. Ever.

Fans of the original don’t need to be worried—it’s not a straight-up remake. It’s more of a reboot that uses the basics of The Evil Dead story as a starting point to create a new legend, combined with some really clever nods to Raimi’s work. Which include a new take on his signature camera moves and some great twists on everything you loved about the 1981 flick.

The opening sequence sets you up for the glorious splatter that follows in a surprisingly original way. And you probably know the rest, more or less: five friends head to a cabin in order to help their heroin-addicted friend Mia (Jane Levy, I will never be able to look at you on Suburgatory the same way again) dry out. The group includes Mia’s somewhat estranged brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez); his blonde girlfriend, Natalie; dark-haired nurse Olivia, and bespectacled hipster-nerd Eric.

Unfortunately, the group soon stumbles onto a creepy basement filled with ominous ritualistic items, like strung-up rotting cats (so many rotting cats), and The Book of the Dead (not yet named as such), and Eric, the genius (!!!)  brings it upstairs and starts reading the words contained within. AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: Eric is a tool. Oops, I mean: the demons have been summoned.

Mia is the first to be possessed by way of a brutally graphic update of the famous “angry molesting tree” scene in the original (seriously cringe-worthy, to the point where I crossed my legs super-tight and said, “nononononononoNOOOOO” as it happened) and from there, it’s a full-on relentless Gorefest that at one point paints almost the entire screen with blood.

A Gorefest, by the way, that’s sure to please even the pickiest horror fans. Name pretty much any uncomfortable way to suffer, and it happens in this movie. There’s one scene in particular where you can hear what’s happening long before you see it, and even though you’re bracing for it—it’s just. So. Terrible (and great!). The practical F/X (with just a tiny bit of CGI enhancement) in this thing are really, really, really boss.

Coupled with some really cool shots by Director Alvarez, great acting from the cast, and a screenplay co-written by Diablo Cody (I can now forgive you for the crap-fest that is Jennifer’s Body, Di), all the splatter adds up to an almost perfect movie. There’s just one tiny bit of MacGyver madness that distracted me from enjoyment, but it was so brief and there is SO MUCH GOODNESS that I can totally let it slide.

Guys. Honestly. Evil Dead is one of the best horror flicks I’ve seen in ages. Scary, uncomfortable, entertaining, gross, bloody, and disgusting—with a pretty decent plot to boot. I can’t wait to see it again.