Lacking any imaginative story, strong dialogue or interesting twist, the Evil Dead reboot relies on relentless torture as a crutch. Gratuitous close-ups of expertly gruesome amputations, tongue-slicing, face-peeling and more decorate this 90-minute blood fiesta.
Mia, her brother David, and the siblings’ friends retreat to a cabin in the woods, to help Mia overcome her drug addiction. They stumble upon some dead cats and a Bad Book, and it all descends from there. That’s it. That’s the whole plot.
Excessive violence overcompensates for the weaknesses in plot and character. The few times the script deviates from pure exposition, the attempts are laughable. Unfortunately, this film’s script lacks the kitsch quality of its three predecessors and instead fails to be either amusing or gripping.
The tiresome not-quite-deaths smack of Boromir getting arrowed a million times and staggering on to fight, or the Black Knight in Monty Python & The Holy Grail: “It’s just a flesh wound!” Every time you hope the torture is about to end, one of the characters will do something remarkably stupid and nonsensical, and OH HEY, more limbs thump to the floor.
Any objects featured on camera are used to brutalise someone, from needles to electric meat-slicers, mirrors and toilets. The best part of object parade is an Edgar Wright-style “building” montage where David-the-brother builds a contraption in quick jump cuts. Admittedly, it is not explained what the device is until later, but the scene offered a brief, bloodless respite.
Overall a sad attempt to revitalise something that should have been left to rot. Extra blood does not equate extra quality. The only thing more distressing than this film was the person cackling behind us in the cinema.
By Ilona Wallace
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