Evil Dead isn’t a movie. It’s a rollercoaster.
Typically the metaphor of a rollercoaster is used to describe something with extreme highs and lows. But good rollercoasters have a slow accumulation of tense anticipation during the rickety ascent to the highest point, then the terrifying exhilaration of the descent – and that exhilaration doesn’t just end, it transforms, its momentum launching the riders through loops and spirals; there’s the occasional pause at the crest of a curve, but the initial stillness is consumed by chaos.
That’s Evil Dead. The remake captures that exhilaration with absurd, wince-inducing levels of gore. There’s the brief ascent, as the threadbare plot is outlined (five friends gather at a secluded cabin to help one of them go cold-turkey from heroin), and then the audience will either be clutching their armrests as the film hurtles through fountains of blood and grisly amputations …or left reeling with disgust, overwhelmed by the film’s maximalism. There’s little-to-no character development, nor realistic behaviour, and the film eschews campy humour altogether (there are a couple clever callbacks to the original films).
If you’re looking for an intelligent or nuanced film, look elsewhere. But if you’re after a rollercoaster, you won’t be disappointed.