Oh no they’ve remade another classic 80s horror, how dare they sully the memory of this classic film etc. Except that the ‘they’ in this case are the same ‘they’ who made the original film and the original film was put together on a tiny budget with effects that are only amazing if you take the budget limitations into account. If Sam Raimi wants to use this remake as a jumping off point to getting an Army of Darkness sequel made then I am okay with that. As it turns out this sequel delivers in tense gory horror what the original never could.
So the story is the same as in the original film: five friends go to a cabin in the woods but this time the friends are not going to party. Instead they are here to help Mia (Jane Levy) dry out and quit drugs. Mia’s brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) is there to support her and he’s accompanied by his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore). Mia has been brought to the cabin by an old friend Olivia (Jessica Lucas who is a nurse and has been trying for a while to get Mia clean. The fifth member of the group is Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), a stuck-up judgemental prick who is the partner of Olivia. What is really Eric problem is that David left home leaving Mia to take care of their terminally ill mother and was never there to support Mia in her grief when their mother died. Another addition to the group is Grampa, the family dog that has been living with David.
The cabin is not just a creepy run-down hut in the middle of nowhere; it is their creepy run-down hut in the middle of nowhere. Mia and David’s mother owned it and the five friends used to come there for a break. They are not happy to discover someone has busted the lock on the front door and left the place in a mess with smell that Mia finds unbearable. Olivia thinks Mia is acting up since she can’t smell anything. Grampa can smell it and he starts scratching at the floor. Underneath a rug the find a trap door down the cellar and when they open it they all smell what Mia smelled.
At the start of the film there was a short scene of an old woman using the evil spell book called the Necronomicon to drive out the evil spirit possessing a young woman. That is who broke into the cabin and what they find down there is a load of dead animals hanging from the ceiling and a support pillar that has been badly burnt. Eric also finds the book wrapped in black plastic and barbed wire and takes it back upstairs with him.
I have no idea why he does it other being an idiot but Eric takes the book to a back room and he snips off the barbed wire and tears off the black plastic. No alarm bells ring in his head as he open the book clearly bound in human skin and sees desperate warnings scrawled all over the pages of the book telling whoever is reading it to not read it not to touch it but leave it alone. On many pages the writing has being obliterated with crayon. This doesn’t put off Eric who uses his Hardy Boy skills to take a pencil rubbing and reveal the text underneath which he reads out as it is revealed.
Mia is outside in the rain trying to cope with pain of withdrawal. As Eric reads the words from the book Mia hears something waking up in the woods. It’s the POV monster and as it rushes through woods Mia gets creeped-out and runs from it. She gets caught in thorn bushes and sees a deadite who infects her with its evil.
Mia tries to warn the others that they have to leave but they are persuaded by Olivia that this is Mia acting up and wanting to go back to her addiction so they don’t listen to her until it’s too late and soon there’s blood and pain as the evil possesses them and they are fighting against their friends for their lives.
This film is a much more straightforward horror than the original with none of the more fantastic effects and mind screw moments. It still manages to keep the violent intensity and thanks to the use physical effects the gore really has that visceral quality that CGI effects cannot yet replicate. I really enjoyed this film though I am not going to say it surpasses the original. There are a few a call outs to the original for fans to look out for. I’d recommend this to any fans of bloody horror and think fans of the original should give it a try
- Rotten Tomatoes
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