A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Evil Dead is a remake of Sam Raimi's classic early-'80s horror movie The Evil Dead. Like the original, it's filled with over-the-top gore, including spraying, dripping, and raining blood; stabbing; slicing; bashing; shooting (with both nail guns and regular guns); burning; and scalding. Dead cats and a dead dog are shown, and the infamous "tree rape" scene from the original is repeated here, though it's slightly less graphic this time around. On the other hand, language is stronger here than in the original, with both spoken and printed uses of "f--k" and "s--t." And a main character is a drug addict who's attempting to kick her habit; she's shown dumping a packet of heroin and going through withdrawals, but she isn't shown taking drugs. Sexuality isn't much of an issue, though minor suggestion is seen/heard.
Non-comparable reboot, flat acting, non-creative dialogue, compensated for it's scintillating special effects.
What's the story?
David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), arrive at a remote cabin in the woods, where David's sister, Mia (Jane Levy), is going to attempt to kick her drug habit. Two other friends, Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas), are also there to help. Tension arises around the fact that David hasn't been around lately, but things get much worse when the group finds dozens of dead cats hanging from the rafters in the basement. Then Eric finds and reads a strange-looking book, which unleashes all kinds of horrific demons into the cabin -- or is it just Mia hallucinating? It's eventually up to David to find a way to put a stop to all the craziness for good.
Is it any good?
This fresh take on Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead packs a punch. A newcomer from Uruguay, director Fede Alvarez was given the task of remaking one of the great classics of the horror genre, and though he can't top the original, he provides enough new ideas and enough energy to make the remake a decent movie in its own right. To start, he turns the cabin getaway into a trip with a serious point -- kicking a drug habit -- rather than just a weekend party. This gives a whole new slant to the story, and the character's potential withdrawal hallucinations can be blamed for the initial horrors.
Otherwise, Alvarez seems to know where to pay tribute to the original -- i.e. the use of a chainsaw, vomiting a river of blood, a light bulb filling with blood, and the appearance of a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Alvarez also tries to keep the kinetic, frenzied horror from the original, though he makes it a bit darker and less comical. But he also knows where to depart, with his new characters, their relationships, and their particular problems.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Evil Dead's violence and gore. Why did the filmmakers go so over the top with it? What effect does it have? Why?
Is the movie scary? What would make it scarier, or less scary?
How does this movie compare to the original? Why do you think so many horror movies get remade? Is this one better or worse than others you've seen? Why?
How did you feel about the main character trying to quit her drug habit? Is she a sympathetic character, or does she seem like a bad person?
- In theaters: April 5, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: July 16, 2013
- Cast: Jane Levy, Lou Taylor Pucci, Shiloh Fernandez
- Director: Fede Alvarez
- Studios: Sony Pictures, TriStar Pictures
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.