Movie Reviews: =96evil Dead

The general concensus among film critics is that if you're a dyed-in-the-wool horror-film fan, you'll love the remake of Evil Dead. (Well, the original was called The Evil Dead.) If not, you're likely to leave early. Of course, the warning is there in the title. Lou Lumenick admits in his review in the New York Post, If it hadn't been my paying job as a critic to watch Fede Alvarez's remake of Evil Dead all the way to the end, I probably would have headed for the exit door long before the point where somebody cuts off her own arm with an electric carving knife. Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News comments that while the original Sam Raimi film was often fun to watch, this one is more of a straightforward effort. In the new one, she remarks, Alvarez is primarily interested in upping his corpse count, in the most gruesome ways imaginable. In this, he is undeniably successful. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times also compares the new film with the old, and concludes that the new one has none of the first movie's handmade charm or hilarity, intentional or otherwise. Adds Caudia Puig in USA Today: A remake shouldn't exist simply to ramp up the graphic violence, even if special effects have improved immeasurably in the past 30 years. But Mark Olsen argues in the Los Angeles Times that the movie succeeds on its own terms. It's unlikely the movie will gain the same ardent following as Raimi's debut, he concludes, but it offers enough good-time gore, goofiness, scares and screams to leave an audience feeling a certain elated exhaustion. And Liam Lacey in the Toronto Globe and Mail regards it as a respectful homage to the foundation film in a proudly disreputable genre. He offers this advice: So long as you grit your teeth and keep your eyes on the screen, it's an enjoyable, if almost academic, exercise in bad taste.


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