Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    This isn't just a horror movie with gore - it's a gore movie, period. Blood is its raison d'etre. It's not scary. It's not shocking. It just wallows in viscera. Ho-hum. Pass the ketchup.
  2. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 4, 2013
    25
    Though it tries — with a much too heavy hand — the new Evil Dead is far less humorous than its predecessor.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 4, 2013
    25
    This remake of the 1981 horror classic starts well, but it soon degenerates into tiresome shock gore that overstays its welcome, despite the film's modest run time. Jane Levy as a heroin addict going through withdrawal is the one bright spot.
  4. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    Though Alvarez keeps us watching, he takes no real chances. Buried under all those enthusiastically mangled bodies is the comfort of familiarity. He may have intended to remake a single film, but we’ve seen this movie countless times before.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    Goes overboard on the gruesome and scrimps on humor. Raimi's "Drag Me to Hell" was a much funnierchill-fest.
  6. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    Evil Dead is just a well-made gross-out, and it's kind of a bummer.
  7. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Apr 3, 2013
    67
    Evil Dead, however, accomplishes what it sets out to do: Scare viewers silly and uphold a tradition.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 3, 2013
    83
    While Raimi’s Stooges aesthetic — which was really more prominently displayed in the sequels than in 1981’s The Evil Dead — isn’t played up here, there’s enough outrageous unreality to make the brutality go down a little easier. It isn’t quite a cartoon, but it’s close enough.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    Evil Dead offers the core audience for modern horror plenty of reasons to jump, and then settle back, tensely, while awaiting the next idiotic trip down to the cellar beneath the demon-infested cabin in the woods.
  10. 63
    So long as you grit your teeth and keep your eyes on the screen, it’s an enjoyable, if almost academic, exercise in bad taste.
  11. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    Doesn’t have the original’s wooden performances, puffy clothes and hairdos or its amusingly crude special effects, but it does share its blood lust.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    More stomach-churning than soul-chilling. The list of on-screen atrocities includes attacks by nail gun, electric carving knife, chain saw, shotgun, crowbar and chunk of ceramic from a broken toilet tank, used as a crude bludgeon.
  13. 50
    The passing of the torch from Raimi to Alvarez is not a momentous occasion. In the end, who really cares? Five years from now, will you want to watch this bloody $14 million extravaganza or Raimi’s shoestring original, which was Amateur Hour elevated to pop art?
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    There is nothing about Evil Dead as groundbreaking as Raimi’s films (particularly the first two). But it’s smarter and better done than a lot of what’s come since those movies were made, which is to say there is at least some thought behind the killings.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 5, 2013
    40
    Because while it can boast of some truly extraordinary special effects -- stomach-churning, face-hacking, arm-slicing visual effects, the kind that are sure to titillate the gleefully twisted -- this Evil Dead is far more gruesome than awesome.
  16. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Apr 2, 2013
    60
    What really matters is seeing these pretty people get put through the gory wringer, and once the unholy spirit comes calling, Evil Dead more than delivers.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Mar 10, 2013
    70
    Boasts way better production values than the penny-pinching 1981 original and conceivably could delight genre fans who have never seen the first version or its previous remakes/sequels. But it’s bound to play best with those who catch Alvarez’s many wink-wink allusions to Raimi’s picture.
  18. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 10, 2013
    67
    An ode to the strength of onscreen horror even in its less inspired state, the new Evil Dead primarily succeeds at illustrating how the originals have managed to stand the test of time.
  19. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Apr 4, 2013
    67
    I learned a total of two things from watching Evil Dead: No camping kit is complete without duct tape, and sometimes end credits are worth sitting through for a movie's best gag.
  20. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    Apr 3, 2013
    80
    The plotting as a whole feels fresh, as does the emphasis on women strong enough to defend themselves.
  21. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Apr 3, 2013
    63
    Is this Evil Dead (no “The”) any good? Yes and no. It several genuinely hair-raising moments and presents, for your edification and enjoyment, some of the most graphic horror violence ever presented on the screen.
  22. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 11, 2013
    70
    A gore-for-broke affair that strips the flesh off Sam Raimi's cult-beloved comic-horror franchise and exposes the demons at its core.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Apr 19, 2013
    60
    It is nowhere near as creepy as the recent indie horror "V/H/S," but it is a full-bloodedly grisly and macabre film that zaps over a few scares.
  24. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Apr 7, 2013
    70
    Though it never channels the raw DIY energy of the original Evil Dead series — what big-budget version could? — this polished, clever remake remains true to the spirit of the original, which was at once viscerally terrifying and weirdly lighthearted.
  25. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 3, 2013
    25
    This isn't a strict remake of Sam Raimi's hugely influential 1981 horror classic, but it does include the basic framework and some visual nods to the original. On its own, it's an irredeemable, sadistic torture chamber reveling in the bloody, cringe-inducing deaths of some of the stupidest people ever to spend a rainy night in a remote cabin in the woods.
  26. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    Effective scares, respectful nods to its inspiration and a few new twists make the question of whether this new Evil Dead succeeds in matching its inspiration superfluous. This is one remake that succeeds on its own blood-soaked terms.
  27. Reviewed by: William Goss
    Mar 10, 2013
    75
    The downright gnarliest mainstream horror release in recent memory, Evil Dead is certainly a considerable and occasionally commendable dose of the ol’ ultra-violence, but Fede Alvarez’ Raimi-sanctioned update of 1981’s cult favorite only really has that demented determination going for it.
  28. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Apr 7, 2013
    50
    Are we really looking to Evil Dead for gnarly possessions played straight? That’s what Alvarez gives us for an overlong stretch, until his reinterpretation of the malevolent-hand gag kicks off a last act that’s more freewheelingly, twistedly grisly. (Don’t skip the credits, because the fan-energizing momentum peaks at the very end.)
  29. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    It's unlikely the movie will gain the same ardent following as Raimi's debut, but it offers enough good-time gore, goofiness, scares and screams to leave an audience feeling a certain elated exhaustion.
  30. 88
    It’s ultimately everything a modern horror movie should be.
  31. 75
    Alvarez triumphs because he made one crucial decision: Avoid digital animation and use only practical in-camera special effects. He uses every trick from classic Hollywood and invents a few of his own.
  32. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Mar 10, 2013
    42
    Featuring truly shocking levels of violence but none of the wit or fun of the original, the new Evil Dead is mostly a dud.
  33. Reviewed by: Nigel Floyd
    Apr 29, 2013
    60
    Despite much old-school splatter, it’s seldom frightening and oddly unfunny.
  34. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Apr 15, 2013
    60
    Closer to Eli Roth than Sam Raimi, this brutal retread combines J-horror atmospherics with torture-porn kills. It’s more evisceration than invention but at least has the courage of its bloody-minded convictions.
  35. Reviewed by: Simon Crook
    Apr 15, 2013
    60
    Prepare yourself for a shock: a horror remake that, at its best, manages to recapture the original’s hardcore nastiness. It could certainly do with laughing at itself a bit more, though.
  36. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Apr 4, 2013
    75
    Be warned that this is a movie literally awash in blood and graphic violence.
  37. Reviewed by: John Semley
    Apr 4, 2013
    75
    The setup and geography are consistent with the original, though the film never makes the mistake of trying to rebottle the lightning that electrified Sam Raimi's movie.
  38. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Apr 3, 2013
    83
    The new Evil Dead's delirious gross-out scenes spoke to me, and they go further than any mainstream picture I can think of.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 453 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 162
  1. Apr 5, 2013
    10
    What can I say about this other than it's amazing? It's everything you want in a horror film. It's bloody, gory, and disgusting all in a good way. It never fails to keep a creepy time to it throughout the film. It all looks just so realistic too. There's no CGI. Only practical effects which makes it 10 times better. I'll probably see this movie 3 more times while it's in theaters Full Review »
  2. Apr 5, 2013
    8
    This remake of the 1981 classic really delivers. It's very entertaining in a scary sense and in a gory sense. The only real problem about this movie is that it's too short. An amazing horror thriller like this should be at least 2 hours long. Not 91 minutes. Just too short. Overall, it's a scary/gory good time you'll have at the movies this year. Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2013
    3
    *posted on IMDB as well* When the remake of the 1981 horror classic "The Evil Dead" was announced in late 2011, fans of the series reacted, unsurprisingly, with revulsion. At the heart of their outrage lay a simple question: Why? How could a remake possibly improve upon the original? The first film's charm had much to do with its shoestring budget and utter lack of prestige. The cast and crew were a ragtag group of amateurs who essentially had no clue what they were doing. The filming process was notoriously unpleasant, requiring the team to live in a primitive log-cabin in the backwoods of Eastern Tennessee. It shouldn't have worked. And yet, when The Evil Dead hit theaters, it won over audiences across the world with its simplistic, clumsy charm and unique sense of humor--not to mention its pioneering camera work and brilliant practical effects. It paved the way for a decade of ultra-violent, low budget horror movies (either the best thing to happen to the genre or the worst, depending on who you're talking to.) Few products of the medium have ever enjoyed such influence.

    Though a more technically advanced film, Fede Alvarez' 2013 remake--backed, disappointingly, by Raimi and Campbell themselves-- is as shoddy a production as the original, but without the charm and humor to redeem it. The fundamental problem with Alvarez' version (and Diablo Cody's reworking of the script) is that it approaches the material with ludicrous self seriousness, thus making itself vulnerable to more intense scrutiny, against which it has little hope of defense. The film begins promisingly enough, opening with a disturbing scene of father-daughter filicide, but immediately tumbles downhill when the meat of the plot (what little there is) is revealed. The premise is this: A group of five twenty-somethings treks out into the woods for a high school reunion/intervention, hoping to permanently cure Mia (Jane Levy) of her heroin addiction. They hole up in Mia and her brother David's (Shiloh Fernandez) decrepit family cottage and steel themselves for the worst of the withdrawal symptoms to set in. However, their priorities soon shift when Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) discovers a copy of the Necronomicon in the basement (wrapped in barbed wire, bound in human skin, and with explicit admonishments written in bold red letters upon its pages) and recites the exact words the book warns him not to recite under any circumstance. With this incantation, a portal into the world of the dead and the damned is opened. What follows thereafter should, by all rights, be an entertaining, gory romp through the swamps. Instead, we are treated to seventy minutes of unrelenting stupidity and bad acting. The worst offender by far is the feebleminded David, our lackluster stand in for Bruce Campbell's Ash, who, for three quarters of the movie, simply can't get it through his thick skull that his sister has been possessed by a demon. He seems to think that telekinesis, dramatic drops in vocal pitch, and Linda Blair-esque neck twitches are typical symptoms of heroin withdrawal. His dimwitted attempts to contain the situation are extraordinarily frustrating to watch, as is the extreme gullibility of the other characters. How many times will these fools fall for the old "I'm not a demon!" trick? Make a drinking game out of it. You'll be wasted long before the final act.

    Again, all of these transgressions would be more forgivable if the movie didn't take itself so dang seriously. But there's nary an amusing one-liner or a hint of self-awareness to get us through this study in tedium and banality. Even the violence is disappointing--or at least it failed to impress this seasoned genre enthusiast. Sure, there's a cool scene with a nail gun, and a few cringe inducing moments involving syringes, electric meat slicers, and boiling hot water, but it all feels a little been-there-done-that. Recent films that top Evil Dead in the gore department include Slither, Feast, Cabin Fever, Hostel, and High Tension, among others. Check those out instead.

    Here's hoping the "Carrie" remake fares a little better.
    Full Review »