Evil Dead



Gore-filled horror remake entertains but can't top original.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • 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.


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.


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.


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.

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 DeadLike 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?


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
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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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.

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What parents and kids say

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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 byThe_Reaper 6184 April 5, 2013

"Evil Dead": a well-made but extremely violent horror film

It has been reported this remake of the 1981 horror film initially received an NC-17 before it was trimmed for an R. However, this is still an extremely violent and gory film. Parents should take this rating very seriously. The movie tells of five young people going to a cabin in the woods, where one of the group hopes to kick her heroin addiction. Once they are there, one of them foolishly reads from a book and unleashes a demon that begins to take them out, one-at-a-time. There are no real positive messages or role models in this movie, save for the fact four of these people are at the cabin to help their friend. The violence is near relentless. At the start, a young girl is attacked, beaten and set on fire. Once at the cabin, after one of the hapless characters unleashes the demon, the characters are subjected to an overwhelming amount of torture. One character slices her face with a shard of glass, with the camera lingering on the gory aftermath. She later has her head smashed with a toilet lid. Another girl slices her arm off with an electric knife. Moments later, the arm falls off with the usual gory results. A nail gun is used as a weapon multiple times. A character has her hand pinned under a vehicle, forcing her to pull until it rips off while the camera makes sure to catch every detail. While possessed, a character uses a box knife to slice her tongue in half. The demon transfers to two characters by spitting blood into their mouths. Another character is beaten repeatedly with a crowbar, after he has been shot multiple times by the previously mentioned nail gun. A dog is briefly shown being killed with a hammer. Language, while not as constant as the violence is still typical for this time of movie. F---, s---, c---, b---- and variations of these words are used throughout the course of the film and some are seen in written form inside of the discovered book. The female lead is seen smoking in her first scene and later she disposes of what is clearly her stash of drugs. Her behavior after her possession is mistaken for withdrawals in the first half of the movie. There is some sexual material. The demon possess one character when it takes the form of a black slime which then crawls up between the girl's legs. One of the possessed girls crawls on top of another female character, sniffs her inner thighs then possess her by kissing her with a mouthful of blood. With the recent onslaught of possession and haunted house movies, mostly notably the "Paranormal Activity" films, parents have children who will want to see this, especially if their children are in high school. However, unlike those films or the films of the like that have been released since, this is clearly an extremely brutal film that goes well beyond the jump scares of the "Activity" films, "Insidious" or "Sinister".
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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