Finally, I got around to seeing this!
Well, what can I say, as much as I missed Ash greatly, (Evil Dead without Bruce's fabulous on-screen presence is just never going to cut it for me) I have to give credit where credit is due, this film is brutal. Gory doesn't even begin to describe this film.
While gory, though, I wouldn't say it terrified me more than it had me awestruck at the sheer brutality of the special effects. It is safe to say that this film is disgusting, but in that special way that gorehounds love. It's well made, the special effects are brilliant and, while the characters all seem to exhibit some form of the original Ash character in one way or another, they hold pretty well for a splatter film and the actors and actresses' performances are excellent.
Changing the plot slightly to a bunch of friends (and a brother) trying to save their friend/sister from her lethal drug addiction, saved this film a lot. Had they tried to rehash the whole original Evil Dead plot I would have been sorely disappointed. But I rather enjoyed this new plot with its several well-placed nods and homages to the original films. Instead of recreating the first or second films they altered just enough to make this version a film in its own right.
I would also have to commend this film on its sheer energy, which is also reminiscent of the original two films. Truly an unrelenting torrent of blood and insanity, it barely gives the audience breathing space to recover from each scene without losing any of that agitating, squirmy appeal.
While it will never replace the original film for me, and certainly with the straight-faced quality of the storytelling it will never become one of my must-watch-several-times-a-year films, "Evil Dead" really brings everything it promised to the table: gallons of gore, creepy demonically possessed twenty-somethings, a suitably nostalgic cabin, tree rape and a lot of nice jumpy bits. Definitely something to see, even if you're not a gorehound.
[Image: Ghost House Pictures & TriStar Entertainment]