Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Fede Álvarez|
|Based on||The Evil Dead|
by Sam Raimi
|Music by||Roque Baños|
|Edited by||Bryan Shaw|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$97.5 million|
Evil Dead is a 2013 American supernatural horror film directed by Fede Alvarez, in his feature directorial debut, written by Rodo Sayagues and Álvarez and produced by Robert Tapert, Sam Raimi, and Bruce Campbell. The fourth installment in the Evil Dead franchise, it serves as a soft reboot and continuation of the original series. The film stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore.
Talks for a fourth Evil Dead film began in 2011, with original film actor Bruce Campbell the possibility for a next film in the franchise. The project was officially announced in July 2011, with Ghost House Pictures producing it, with Diablo Cody in the process of revising the script and Fede Alvarez chosen as the director. Much of the cast joined from January to February 2012. Filming took place in March 2012 and wrapped in May 2012 in New Zealand outside of Auckland, lasting about a month.
Evil Dead had its world premiere at the South by Southwest film festival on March 8, 2013 and was theatrically released in the United States on April 5, 2013, by Sony Pictures Releasing and TriStar Pictures. The film grossed $97 million worldwide against a production budget of $17 million.
The film opens with the capture of a girl in the woods, who is taken to a cabin with cult members. Her father immolates her, as it is revealed she is not human but actually a demon.
After a long time, David and his girlfriend Natalie arrive at a cabin in the woods, where they meet with his younger sister Mia and his friends Eric and Olivia. The group plans to stay in the cabin while Mia overcomes her addiction to heroin. The cabin's cellar—the same one in which the girl was immolated—is littered with rotting animal corpses, a shotgun, and a book called the Naturom Demonto.
Eric, despite written warnings, reads aloud an incantation and awakens a malevolent force. Mia begins seeing a bloody girl in the woods, and begs the group to leave. They refuse, believing that she is experiencing withdrawal. Mia takes Eric's car and leaves the cabin. Mia, while driving, sees a naked girl and swerves the car out of the way, crashing into a tree. Mia then exits the car and runs into the woods. While in the woods, several vines from a demonic tree grab Mia's arms and legs, preventing her from escaping. Mia sees an Abomination version of herself. A vine comes out of its mouth and rapes Mia, successfully possessing her.
David finds his murdered dog along with a bloodied hammer, and goes to confront Mia, who is in the shower. He sees her scalding herself in the water and tries to drive her to a hospital but heavy rains flood the road. That night, the possessed Mia shoots David in the arm and warns that they will all die. David locks her in the cellar but not before she vomits all over Olivia. Olivia becomes possessed and stabs Eric in the chest; he bludgeons her to death. David nurses Eric's wounds as Eric explains that when he read the book it released "something evil". Mia lures Natalie into the cellar, where she bites her hand. Mia sexually molests Natalie’s thigh before planting a bloodied kiss on her mouth. David opens the trapdoor, allowing Natalie to escape. The demon tells him that Mia no longer exists.
Eric explains that according to the Naturom Demonto, the Taker of Souls must claim five souls in order to unleash the Abomination. Natalie becomes convinced that her arm is infected and amputates it with an electric knife. David patches up her wounded arm while Eric explains that Mia must be "purified" either by live burial, bodily dismemberment, or burning. The possessed Natalie attacks the pair with a nail gun but David shoots her. Natalie turns back to normal but bleeds to death in David's arms.
David incinerates Olivia’s corpse, dismembers Natalie’s body, and plans to burn down the cabin with Mia in it. However, as Mia starts singing a song from their childhood, he has a change of heart and decides to bury her instead. He digs a grave and tries to subdue Mia, who attempts to drown him. Eric intervenes but not before being fatally stabbed. David sedates and buries Mia as the demon possessing her taunts him. He then unearths and defibrillates her, begging her to return to him. The demon is exorcized and Mia is healed as the siblings reconcile. David enters the cabin to retrieve the car keys, but the vindictive demon returns by possessing the body of the deceased Eric and stabs him with barbed wire cutters. As Mia tries to help him, David locks her out to protect her and shoots a gasoline can, destroying Eric's body and sacrificing himself.
As Mia watches the cabin burn, blood rains from the sky. Since four souls have been claimed, the Taker of Souls rises as the Abomination which takes the form of how Mia was when possessed, going after Mia to claim her soul to complete itself. Mia attempts to flee in the car, but fails. She instead crawls into the shed through a hole and grabs a chainsaw to fight back. When the Abomination throws the car at Mia, she gets her hand crushed underneath. She tears off her hand and slices the Abomination in half with the chainsaw. Its corpse sinks into the ground and the rain stops. Mia stumbles away into the woods. Unknown to her, the Naturom Demonto is still intact.
After defeating the Abomination, Mia attempts to walk home but collapses in exhaustion on the road. A trucker stops and drives her to the hospital. As the camera zooms into Mia, she awakes suspiciously.
- Jane Levy as Mia Allen
- Shiloh Fernandez as David Allen
- Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric
- Jessica Lucas as Olivia
- Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie
- Jim McLarty as Harold
- Phoenix Connolly as Teenager
- Sian Davis as Old Woman
- Stephen Butterworth as Toothless Redneck
- Karl Willetts as Long Haired Redneck
- Randal Wilson as Taker of Souls / Abomination Mia
- Rupert Degas as the Demon (voice)
In addition, using audio from the original film, Bob Dorian plays Professor Raymond Knowby during the credits and Ellen Sandweiss plays a voice cameo as Cheryl Williams. Bruce Campbell plays Ash Williams in an uncredited post-credit cameo appearance.
Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues co-wrote the script, which was then doctored by Diablo Cody in an effort to Americanize the dialogue since English was not the writers' first language. The film was produced by Raimi, Campbell, and Robert G. Tapert, who are the producers of the original trilogy.
Raimi and Campbell had planned a remake for many years, but, in 2009, Campbell stated the proposed remake was "going nowhere" and had "fizzled" due to extremely negative fan reaction. However, in April 2011, Bruce Campbell stated in an AskMeAnything interview on Reddit.com, "We are remaking Evil Dead. The script is awesome ... The remake's gonna kick some ass — you have my word." The film was officially announced that July.
Actor Shiloh Fernandez was cast in the lead male role of David. Initially Lily Collins was scheduled to play the lead female role of Mia, but dropped out in January 2012,. with Jane Levy replacing her the next month. Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore, and Jessica Lucas later joined the cast.
In November 2018, Álvarez confirmed the film's relationship to the original:
It continues the first one. The coincidences on events between the first film and mine are not coincidences, but more like dark fate created by the evil book. (Ash [sic] car is still there rusting away.)
Álvarez, who also has a background in CGI, also confirmed in an interview that the film does not employ CGI (except for touch-ups): "We didn't do any CGI in the movie ... Everything that you will see is real, which was really demanding. This was a very long shoot, 70 days of shooting at night. There's a reason people use CGI; it's cheaper and faster, I hate that. We researched a lot of magic tricks and illusion tricks."
Sam Raimi's 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 can be seen in an opening scene with David and Mia as they arrive at the cabin. The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 has appeared in almost all of the movies that Raimi has been involved with over his career.
TriStar Pictures released the film theatrically on April 5, 2013, in the United States, with Sony Pictures handling other markets. Fede Álvarez tweeted on January 28, 2013, that the film first received an NC-17 rating, which prompted cuts in order to obtain the contractually obligated R-rating. The film has been rated uncut as an 18 by the BBFC for containing strong "bloody violence, gory horror and very strong language". StudioCanal handled the release of Evil Dead in the United Kingdom.
Evil Dead premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX on March 8, 2013. The music for Evil Dead, composed by Roque Baños, was released by La-La Land Records in a 40-minute digital form and a 70-minute physical release, on April 9, 2013.
Evil Dead was released on DVD and Blu-ray, on July 16, 2013. The Blu-ray exclusives include commentary from three of the cast, and screenwriters Fede Álvarez and Rodo Sayagues, behind the scenes and a featurette, while the regular DVD includes three other featurettes.
An "extended version" featuring an alternative ending and various other deleted clips and dialogue, some of which were featured in the original trailer but subsequently removed from the theatrical version, was aired in the UK on Channel 4 on January 25, 2015. No one has confirmed whether this was an intentional debut for the anticipated "extended cut", which fans of the film have asked about since the theatrical release, or whether StudioCanal UK had inadvertently supplied Channel 4 with the wrong copy of the film. Álvarez eventually confirmed on Twitter that the version aired was not the extended cut. Channel 4 subsequently confirmed that the wrong copy of the film was supplied to them and that they had sent it back. They added that they had no other information on the version which aired and since the "extended/incorrect" version had been returned to StudioCanal UK they would not be airing it again. However, the extended version aired two more times, on February 13, 2016 and June 14, 2016.
On October 10, 2018, Sony Pictures announced the release of the Unrated Cut on Blu-ray Disc in a two disc combo pack with the theatrical version. It was released on October 23, 2018.
The film grossed $25.8 million in its opening weekend, finishing first at the box office. It went on to gross $54.2 million domestically and $43.3 million internationally, for a worldwide take of $97.5 million, against its $17 million budget, making it a box office success.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 63% based on 201 reviews and an average rating of 6.16/10. The consensus states: "It may lack the absurd humor that underlined the original, but the new-look Evil Dead compensates with brutal terror, gory scares, and gleefully bloody violence." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.
Evan Dickson from Bloody Disgusting reviewed the film at SXSW and went on to say, "Evil Dead is amazingly gory and fun" and gave the film 4/5 stars. Chris Tilly of IGN gave Evil Dead 9/10 and called the movie a "terrifying, exhilarating and relentlessly entertaining new chapter in the Evil Dead story". John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film a positive review, calling it a "remake that will win the hearts of many of the original's fans." Independent horror review site HorrorTalk gave the film four stars out of five saying it is "the most unrelenting and bloody horror film to come out of a major studio in a very long time". Emma Simmonds of The List commented, "Evil Dead has ample cheap shocks and few bloodcurdling frights but it builds to something gorily bravura and, if that's your bag, you'll come away satisfied. It's a while before anyone picks up a chainsaw, but boy is it worth it when they do." Matt Singer called the film "an assault on the senses" and "a success, one that out-Evil Deads the original movie with even more gore, puke, blood, and dismembered limbs. It may not be wildly inventive, but it is effective, and plenty faithful to the spirit — and tagline — of the first 'Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror.'"
Richard Roeper rated the film one star out of four, criticizing the film's unoriginality, the characters' lack of intelligence, and the film's reliance on gore for what he felt were cheap scares. He concluded his review by saying, "I love horror films that truly shock, scare and provoke. But after 30 years of this stuff, I'm bored to death and sick to death of movies that seem to have one goal: How can we gross out the audience by torturing nearly every major character in the movie?"
Awards and nominations
|2013||Golden Trailer Awards||Best Horror TV Spot||TriStar Pictures and mOcean for "Everything's Fine"||Nominated|
|Fright Meter Award||Best Makeup||Evil Dead||Won|
|Best Special Effects||Evil Dead||Won|
|Best Ensemble Cast||Cast of Evil Dead||Nominated|
|Best Horror Movie||Evil Dead||Nominated|
|Best Director||Fede Álvarez||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Jane Levy||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Lou Taylor Pucci||Nominated|
|Best Score||Roque Baños||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Bryan Shaw||Nominated|
|Golden Schmoes Award||Best Horror Movie of the Year||Evil Dead||Runner-up|
|International Film Music Critics Award||Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film||Roque Baños||Won|
|Film Music Composition of the Year||Roque Baños for the composition track "Abominations Rising"||Won|
|Film Score of the Year||Roque Baños||Nominated|
|IGN Summer Movie Award||Best Horror Movie||Evil Dead||Nominated|
|Key Art Award||Best Audio/Visual Technique||Screen Gems & mOcean for the trailer "Filthy"||Nominated|
|2014||Empire Award||Best Horror||Evil Dead||Nominated|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Award||Best Makeup/Creature FX||Roger Murray
|Best Wide-Release Film||Fede Álvarez||Runner-up|
|Best Supporting Actor||Lou Taylor Pucci||Runner-up|
|Worst Film||Evil Dead||3rd place|
|Saturn Award||Best Make-Up||Patrick Baxter
At the SXSW premiere, Álvarez announced that a sequel was in the works. In addition, Sam Raimi confirmed plans to write Evil Dead 4 with his brother; it was later specified that this film would be Army of Darkness 2. At a WonderCon panel in March 2013, Campbell and Álvarez stated that their ultimate plan was for Álvarez's Evil Dead 2 and Raimi's Army of Darkness 2 to be followed by a seventh film which would merge the narratives of Ash and Mia. On October 30, 2013, co-writer Sayagues confirmed to DeadHollywood that he and Álvarez would not return for the sequel. That same month, Álvarez took to his Twitter that the rumor was not true.
In November 2018, Álvarez announced that "They're just ideas right now. Nothing to announce officially. We do have a script for Don't Breathe 2. That's the only difference. We don't have a script for Evil Dead 2. But we do have a script for Don't Breathe 2 that we wrote." He also said that "When I tweeted that I was interested in seeing what people prefer. We were having some internal debates about what people would be interested in most. Unfortunately, Evil Dead 2 won. Which, I guess I would have preferred Don't Breathe 2 to win because it's one of my own creations. Obviously Evil Dead has the bigger following."
On July 10, 2019, Raimi discussed the future of the Evil Dead franchise, saying that "We'd like to make another Evil Dead feature and in fact we're working on some ideas right now." Raimi said that he would be interested in making another film with Campbell, although, Campbell earlier claimed that he has retired from the role of Ash. He also considered another option would be a sequel to the 2013 reboot, but he is unsure if Álvarez would want to make a sequel at this point because the director is a successful "artist in demand" now. By October, Raimi announced at the New York Comic Con, that a new film is in development. Bruce Campbell will serve as a producer, and will not be the star of the film due to his retirement role as Ash Williams. In June 2020, Campbell revealed that Lee Cronin was handpicked by Raimi to write and direct the movie, which will be called Evil Dead Rise.
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