The story stays relatively consistent to the original. A group of friends go up to a cabin, discover an evil book, and evil is awoken, only to reek havoc on the souls on the young bunch. But what separates this movie from the original is that this isn't a generic cabin in the woods, college party turned wrong movie. Many claim this movie lacks depth but what they fail to realize is that this is a remake of one of the first cabin-in-the-woods horror films. The main character Mia, played by the amazingly talented Jane Levy embarks on this trip to finally rid herself of heroin addiction and is accompanied by her brother and close friends to beat it once and for all. Might this 'Evil Dead' just be a metaphor for Mia's never-ending quench for Opiates? This level of depth was a welcomed addition to the remake and adds character development as the story progresses. As Fede Alverez first film the movie acts decently balanced. It keeps consistent with the story, plot holes are filled, the pace is okay, and the dialog is decent but nothing special.
The acting was, in comparison to the original, more evolved and surely fulfilled the expectations set by A-class movies. Jan Levy, the star of this film, dominates her dialog, executing line after line with sheer fright and is convincing the whole way through. I consider the move to have a female lead an absolute spark of genius . Audiences want more Female leads who can command the screen. Actresses like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, Carrie Fisher in Star Wars and Linda Hamilton of Terminator 2. And Levy blew it out of the water. Veteran actress Jessica Lucas was also quite good. Although she didn't get the same amount of screen time as Jane Levy, she is just as good and is a welcomed addition to the Ladies of the Evil Dead. The third female character Natalie, played by Elizabeth Blackmore is mainly pure cannon-fodder. Her only purpose in this film is to be subject to the evil that lurks within the woods. I have a feeling that she was wrote in latter in the script merely to spread the carnage out throughout the actors. She does do well in some parts later on in the film, but overall she wasn't a very interesting or developed character. This is what holds the movie from achieving success. The audience needs to care about the characters and this only fueled the fire of making an unreliable film. The boys in the film aren't that much better. The brother of Mia, played by Shiloh Fernandez had his head so far up his rear-end that he couldn't focus on the acting. I think the idea that he was playing a major role in a big production film got the best of him and instead of taking charge and really understanding his role, he focused more on what his hair looked like before every shot. The last of the main characters, Eric acted by Lou Taylor Pucci only barely shines. His delivery is okay, he seems believable but the lack of screen time and character development just pronounces him as target practice for the deadites early on.
What shines in this remake is the fact that the Director and producers wanted to make it clear that NO CGI was used in this film. This is something everyone should have known going in to see this film because most people just assume everything is CGI today. "Computers did not dare try to recreate the horror that your eyes will see" should have been their tag line. On the Evil Dead's IMDb crew page, there is no listing for animators, 3d modelers, or 3d texture artists, but there are about a dozen "visual effects artist" which is quite ambiguous, but i will take the word of director Fede Alverez and original creator Bruce Campbell that there was none...Rob Tapert has hinted though that this is not entirely true during a screening of the film back in March(probably referring to the beginning scene). The film's attempt to create the "Most terrifying film you will ever see" will intrigue most, and when you understand that all the shots are essentially done with practical effects and a reported 100,000 gallons of fake blood was used to recreate this movie., the scenes then seem that much more gross and indeed terrifying.
What is also worth mentioning is the directors style. The cinematography and camera work itch closely to that of Sam Raimi but with a less jerky roller-coaster ride. The lighting, atmosphere, and color palette is quite something. Alverez shows that he is in it to win it. The film also has quite the number of nods to the original and films like the Exorcist. It acts very much like a throwback.
It ends with a revving climax, resulting in activating the gag reflexes in the audience and screams of joy from fans of the series. I have learned that if you go into a theater or watch a movie with a certain expectations then you will be most disappointed. But if you take it for what it is then your outcome will be that much more rewarding. This remake stands on its own as not only a successful addition to the series, but a decent remake worthy of recognition.
...and remember to stay till after the credits for a special treat.