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Remaking classic movies is risky. John Carpenter’s The Fog got an awful post-millennial treatment; The Omen became an abomination.

Horror fans are tough to convince, too, but this video nasty retooling should appease fans of Sam Raimi’s original while bringing the ‘cabin in the woods’ set-up to a new generation. Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez makes his feature debut – with original team Raimi and Bruce Campbell on board as producers – for what is a new story with many similar elements.

Jane Levy (TV’s Suburgatory) is a junkified twentysomething, out at the remote cabin with brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and mates to kick her habit once and for all. Only one friend finds a human-skin-bound ‘Book Of The Dead’ in the cabin, speaks aloud its words, and unleashes all manner of demonic nastiness that quite literally rips their precious plan to shreds.



Alvarez may be short of big screen time, but he is a ferocious talent behind the camera, putting his leads through a procession of boundary-pushing gory sequences. The infamous tree rape is back, with chainsaws, nail guns and all kinds of sharp instrumentation put to flesh-slicing, scarlet-spraying effect. And it is proper scary too, as the dread and foreboding relentlessly builds en route to an unforgettable climax as an initially grim weekend turns full-on wretched. 

Alvarez manages that oft-missed tone of being both horrific and hilarious (in only the way that someone slicing off their own arm can be) without sacrificing either. In an era when remakes are all too common, this is one you shouldn’t miss. 

Good for: Horror fans, The Evil Dead fans, and those who want to be full-on shocked

 


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Film review: Evil Dead, starring Jane Levy and Shiloh Fernandez
Digital Mag

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