Evil Dead

 
(i)

 

Gore-filled horror remake entertains but can't top original.
  • Review Date: April 3, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An older brother learns how to be present to help out his family members, improving on an earlier failure to visit his mom in the hospital. His sister yearns to stop her drug addiction, enlisting the aid of her closest friends and family to help. Unfortunately, teamwork between the siblings and the other characters doesn't always go very smoothly.

Positive role models

A main character is a drug addict who tries to kick her habit. Her behavior varies from admirable to poor, and the events of the story tend to impede her progress, but she at least appears to be on the right track.

Violence

Extreme, over-the-top gore, including gallons of dripping, spraying, vomiting, and raining blood; fighting; bashing with hard objects; slicing and stabbing; shooting (with both nail guns and regular guns); burning alive; severed limbs; and being scalded with hot water. Dead cats and a dead dog are shown. The infamous "tree rape" scene from the original movie is repeated here (a tree's branches violate a female character), but it's slightly less graphic.

Sex

It appears as if some of the characters are in relationships, but very little is made of this, with little affection/kissing shown. One character uses the sexually suggestive phrase "bumping uglies" in passing.

Language

Much of the language is seen in print, in the "book of the dead." Words include "f--k," "motherf----r," and "bitch." But characters also say "f--k," as well as "s--t," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and "a--holes." A demon uses "c--t" and "c--k" once each, but in a "demonic" voice that isn't always clear.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The movie's main character is a young adult drug addict who's trying to kick her habit. She dumps a packet of what appears to be heroin down a well as she vows to quit. She's never shown taking drugs, but she does suffer DTs during the course of the movie. She's also seen smoking a cigarette in one scene.

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

A newcomer from Uruguay, director Fede Alvarez was given the task of remaking one of the great classics of the horror genre, Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, 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. Overall, his new movie packs a punch.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 5, 2013
DVD release date: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

This review of Evil Dead was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Remake blends bloody vampire violence with humor.
  • Vampire remake is much gorier than Twilight.
  • This movie is very, very scary.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byChristian parents August 2, 2015
 

What happened?

The review went from 17 to 18! Keep it consistent common sense. Now I don't know if I should let my 13 yr old watch thanks to this change.
Parent Written byApples21 April 13, 2015
 

Saved My Sons Life

I think this movie is great for all ages. The moral of the story is strong and so it is a valuable experience for young children. My son is only 10 however and the nightmares induced by it have yet to dissipate. You should also be warned that there is kissing at one point so you should cover you kids eyes at that part.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written bychristian2011 August 16, 2015
 

Non-comparable reboot, flat acting, non-creative dialogue, compensated for it's scintillating special effects.

The 2013 version of the horror classic is not terrible, as for the special effects were the only star component of the film; the plot and setting is blatantly predicable - a secluded old cabin in the woods, a bunch of young adults seek an escape in an effort to help of their friends get sober from her drug addiction, then they discover a book heavily incorporated with dark Satanic incantations and scriptures - and decided to recite from it, thinking there would be no consequence of doing so, then... blood and gore galore. Pretty linear, huh? The Evil Dead is mainly manufactured for the eyes of the sadist. If you have a propensity for extremely graphic horror violence and gore, caring less for the poorly executed storyline and egregious dialogue, then you will enjoy this one. Just to include, this film may be too intense for younger teens, as the nightmarish, demonic imagery, strong profanity, rape sequence, animal cruelty, and disturbing sexual content will be upsetting or unnerving to some who aren't accustomed to the horror genre.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass