The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Tri Star- 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Audio Format(s): English, Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1, Thai, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Thai
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci
Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Written by: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues, based on the motion picture "The Evil Dead", written by Sam Raimi
Music by: Roque Baños
Region Code: A, B, C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 16, 2013
Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
It was the never ending regurgitation of Zombie flicks. Then it was the late 90s early 2ks when the original idea had disappeared and the "Tween" Horror flick (Scream, The Faculty, I Know What You Did Last Summer) was all the rage. Now the newest plague to inundate, offend and annoy the Horror Fan is the never-ending onslaught of remakes of some old classic "Holy Grail" material. First they Butchered Psycho, Rob Zombie made a joke out of Halloween, a new, darker Nightmare on Elm street didn't work at all, and a few Texas Chainsaw massacres did nothing to elevate the cause. Before we soon have new stabs at Poltergeist, American Werewolf in London, The Birds, Pet Cemetery (Yes folks, there are so many remakes in the works it is disgusting), we got what I consider to be one of the best, though unnecessary remakes, 2013s Evil Dead. The main difference between this and the "other" remakes is that this was given the blessing and produced by the creators of the original, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert. Click here to read my review of the originals Blu-ray release.
What separates this from the 1981 classic is its tone. This is much darker with no comedy at all. Then consider its budget, as this was 17 million Vs. the original's 375k. Then we have the films set-up of the twenty-something friends coming to this remote cabin to help the lead, a female here not Brice Campbell's iconic Ash, kick her heroin habit. This is a decent set-up because when she starts to show signs of possession her friends believe it's just withdrawals. Also, this is called Evil Dead, not "The Evil Dead".
The big debate from fans has been whether this is a remake, a reboot, a sequel or a prequel. I saw it as a story in the Evil Dead world, so none of the above choices really apply. Yes there are many similarities too, like the Demon(s) coming from reading a passage in the Necronomicon (the book of the dead), the infamous tree rape...they go on as well.
So is this as good, better?? No. It's just much more gory and glossy with modern top-notch visuals and sound that will blow you away. It was really well directed with great practical effects, as first time feature director Fede Alvarez didn't want to rely on CGI. It contained relentless and copious gore as well as surprisingly amazing acting. Jane Levy plays our heroin Mia (yes, pun intended) and she really steals the movie. Her fear is palpable and when she is possessed she turns it into overdrive and is frightening as hell. I have not seen her in the TV show Suburgatory, but will seek it out to get more of a fix (yes, again, pun intended) of the talented and sexy Jane Levy. The film seemed to fall apart a little in its final act, with some silly ideas (the car battery as a defibrillator for one), and needed a trim of a few minutes.
I guess the real question is did the film's ballsy tagline "The most terrifying film you will ever experience" ring true? Not really for me. But it sure was worth watching and horror and gore fans will dig it.
Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Evil Dead comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.4 Mbps and DTS-MA HD 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps
This one was another superb transfer from Sony. I didn't know this was filmed in digital, and was blown away after the fact with how it looked. Blacks were perfect, with no sign of crush and amazing shadow detail. This had to be perfect as this is one dark movie. It didn't not have the grain of the originals 16mm film, but it captured a mood none the less. Details oozed on every frame and close-ups revealed all the chunky shiny goodness of ripped flesh and blood. The audio is really what took me aback. Man this was horror audio-mix perfection. Surrounds were impeccably used to frighten as well as to add atmosphere. LFE rocked the room when called upon and dialogue, even in the most hectic of moments was never lost. If you have heard a better horror track, id love to hear it.
- Audio Commentary with Director Fede Alvarez, Writer Rodo Sayagues, Actors Jane Levy, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Jessica Lucas
- (HD) Directing the Dead
- (HD) Evil Dead the Reboot
- (HD) Making Life Difficult
- (HD) Unleashing the Evil Force
- (HD) Being Mia
- UV Copy
I was not expecting this but Evil Dead gets a recommendation from me. Not as a replacement, remake or even re-boot to the classic 1981s The Evil Dead, but as an entry to the series it holds its own, albeit it bit more serious then the originals. Spectacular video and definite reference audio round off this packed that comes with a UV copy and a few enjoyable extras. Fans, you can go ahead and buy this one.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4810 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad InRoom Gold LCR's
Triad OnWall Silver Surrounds
2 Triad Silver OmniSubs
Panasonic TC-P65VT60 3D 1080p 3D Plasma
Marantz NR1603 Receiver
Sony PS3 (HDMI Audio/Video)
MKSound MP-7 LCR's
MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds
MKSound SB-8 Subwoofer
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."- Victor Hugo.
Then years later, glad to hear it was actually really good!
Now, reading this today, I'm really really glad this disc got such high marks. Can't wait to see it this week.
Definitely going to pick this one up. Just having a hard time deciding which version - the Target steelbook or the Best Buy exclusive.
IMO, worth a look if this genre is your sorta thing but no keeper like any of the original Raimi/Campbell Evil Dead trio have become.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself... and spiders
My current gear : Epson 5025ub, Silver Ticket 120" fixed frame screen, Onkyo TX-NR 3010 receiver, Speakers : Front.. Klipsh RF-7 reference flagship, Center.. RC-64 reference, Surrounds.. 4x RC-62 reference, DirecTv Genie, PS4, Xbox One Oppo BDP-103 Universal blu-ray.
Overall it was not bad as retellings go, I just hoped for more as I absolutely love the original, warts and all.
To this day I still think the New nightmare on Elm street is one of the few retellings that gets it right. Somewhat ironic for me, as I saw the original evil dead as part of a horror double feature.... Evil Dead and Nightmare on Elm street. It still stands out in my mind as one of the singularly most impactful movie outings of my life!!!
However, I was actually a fan of the real Evil Dead re-make called Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. Bruce Campbell is a B-comedy genius and the wackiness makes these films fun!
"Gimme some sugar, baby!"
"Good... bad... I'm the one with the gun!"
"Klatu, berata... er... uh..."
Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
Thanks for another excellent review Mr. Potts. I really enjoyed this in the theater for the return of well done practical effects in domestic horror and the brilliant wooded backdrop that really made for the perfect atmosphere. I think most of the characters were shallow however I wasn't expecting much in that department. I think they did a pretty solid job with the remake but would have liked to have seen a deeper dive into the more interesting aspects of the book. I suspect this will be done in the sequel but it would have been nice to have been teased with some tidbits to discuss. I don't know why we aren't getting the 12 frames that were cut in an uncut version for the bluray release but it sucks as I was curious to see what they were that made the difference between an NC-17 and R. My guess it was a more graphic tree r@pe seen.
I am glad you enjoyed both the review and the film however the credit for the review goes to Mr. Weber.
"Oooh a puzzle box, I love puzzles"/ "Are you familiar with 'The Lament Configuration"/ "Actually I'm lousy at puzzles..."
Thanks Jeff but I can't take credit for costing you your hard earned cash on this one. Blame Lee..!
^^^Well, OK, but this begs the question, would you generally concur with Lee's assessment on this one? I haven't had enough cross-checking between my own appraisals and Lee's reviews to make an informed judgment as to whether our impressions might match (or he might be daft), but the audio score ismore than intriguing indeed -- don't care so much about the movie, I'm sure there is something of merit there, but if the audio is that excellent, perhaps I should buy and not rent on Friday as I intended to. I know you generally hear what I hear, Ralph, so what say ye? Price just went to $20 on AMAZON, which is my reasonable zone, but this will probably go up after this week..in the mean time, the standard $1.50 or thereabouts at REDBOX, of course....
Emaych, I would say that Lee liked the soundtrack a bit more than I did but our impressions are in the same ballpark.
I am daft. Ask my wife.
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