Evil Dead (2013 film)

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Evil Dead
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Fede Alvarez
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Fede Alvarez
  • Rodo Sayagues
Based on Evil Dead by
Sam Raimi
Music by Roque Baños
Cinematography Aaron Morton
Edited by Bryan Shaw
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • March 8, 2013 (2013-03-08) (SXSW Film Festival)
  • April 5, 2013 (2013-04-05) (United States)
Running time 92 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million[2]
Box office $97,542,952[2]

Evil Dead is a 2013 American horror film co-written and directed by Fede Alvarez. It is the fourth installment of the Evil Dead franchise, serving as both a reboot, a remake and as a loose continuation of the series; the first neither to be directed by Sam Raimi, have Bruce Campbell as the main star, nor be composed by the original trilogy's composer, Joseph LoDuca. Instead it was composed by Spanish composer Roque Baños.

The film is the feature debut of Alvarez, whom Raimi selected. It was produced by Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Robert G. Tapert: the writer-director, lead actor, and producer of the original trilogy respectively. Evil Dead was shot in New Zealand outside of Auckland, with filming lasting one month.[3] The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest festival on March 8, 2013. On March 9, 2013, it was announced that the film will have a sequel, followed by a crossover with the original trilogy. Evil Dead was announced on July 15, 2013 to be adapted into a live experience as the first maze announced for Universal Studios Hollywood's and the second maze for Universal Orlando Resort's annual Halloween Horror Nights event for 2013.


After being captured in the woods, an injured girl (Phoenix Connolly) is restrained in a basement with many people present. Upon revealing she is demonically possessed, her father (Jim McLarty) immolates and kills her.

Some time later, Mia (Jane Levy), her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), and their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas), arrive at an old, remote cabin in the woods where they plan to help Mia recover from her heroin addiction. David wants to reconcile with his friends and sister, as he left when his mother was committed to an asylum, forcing Mia to care for her. A stench leads them to the cellar, where they discover rotting animal corpses, a double-barreled shotgun and a book titled Naturon Demonto.[a] Ignoring warnings scrawled on the book's pages, Eric reads a passage aloud, summoning a demon. Believing that something is after her, Mia pleads to leave, but the group refuses, believing that she is suffering from withdrawal. Furious, she hijacks the group's station wagon and leaves. A demonic version of Mia appears, causing her to crash the car. Returning to the cabin, she encounters demonically possessed trees, which hold her captive while she is possessed. Afterwards, David and Olivia find Mia and take her back to the cabin; visibly traumatized, Mia tells David that whatever attacked her in the woods is in the cabin with them, but he is unconvinced. When Mia kills David's dog, David walks in on her scalding herself in the shower, which Eric recognizes is prophesied in the book. David tries to drive her to a hospital, but flood waters block the road.

After returning to the cabin, the now fully possessed Mia shoots David and tells the group that they will die before passing out.[b] When Olivia tries to retrieve the gun, Mia overpowers her and vomits on her face. The group locks Mia in the cellar to contain her. The demon possesses Olivia, and Eric bludgeons her to death. While David tends to Eric's wounds, a crying Mia lures Natalie into the cellar, biting her hand and vomiting blood in her mouth before fleeing. Eric learns that the book prophesies that a demon called the Taker of Souls must consume five souls in order to unleash a being called the Abomination. Meanwhile, Natalie attempts to avoid consumption from the bite wound infection by severing her arm. David and Eric tend to Natalie's wounds, then discuss their next move. Eric explains that Mia must be "purified" via burning, live burial, or dismemberment, which will end her possession and the demon's assault. Suddenly, a possessed Natalie attacks them. David shoots Natalie's other arm off with the shotgun, and the demon leaves her body as she bleeds out.

David leaves an injured Eric while he plans to bury Mia alive. In the ensuing struggle, David is saved when Eric knocks Mia out, but not before she manages to stab him with a box cutter. As Eric dies from his wounds, he forgives David. David tranquilizes Mia and puts her in a shallow grave near the cabin. After she dies, he digs her up and uses an improvised defibrillator to revive her; the demon has been exorcised, and she is human again. Returning to the cabin to get the keys to his Jeep, David is mortally wounded by a now-possessed Eric. David locks Mia out of the cabin, engaging Eric by himself. David ignites a nearby gasoline can, engulfing the cabin in flames and killing them both.

With their deaths, the prophecy is fulfilled. Blood rains from the sky as the Abomination rises from Hell and chases Mia. After a protracted fight that results in the loss of her hand, Mia manages to kill the Abomination with a chain saw, and it sinks back into the ground. The blood rain stops and Mia walks into the forest. The Naturon Demonto lies on the ground nearby and slams shut on its own.

During the credits, Professor Raymond Knowby recalls his past discovery of the Naturon Demonto. In a post-credits scene, an older Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) appears in a dim spotlight and says "Groovy" before turning to the screen.


In addition, using audio from the original film, Bob Dorian plays Professor Raymond Knowby during the credits and Ellen Sandweiss plays a voice cameo as Cheryl Williams. Bruce Campbell plays Ash Williams in an uncredited post-credit cameo appearance.

The initial letters of the five main characters' names (David, Eric, Mia, Olivia, Natalie) form an acrostic spelling out the word DEMON.[4]


Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues co-wrote the script, which was then doctored by Diablo Cody in an effort to Americanize the dialogue since English was not the writers' first language.[5] The film was produced by Raimi, Campbell, and Robert G. Tapert, who are the producers of the original trilogy.

Raimi and Campbell had planned a remake for many years, but in 2009, Campbell stated the proposed remake was "going nowhere" and had "fizzled" due to extremely negative fan reaction.[6] However, in April 2011, Bruce Campbell stated in an AskMeAnything interview on Reddit.com, "We are remaking Evil Dead. The script is awesome [...] The remake's gonna kick some ass — you have my word."[7]

On July 13, 2011, it was officially announced, via a press release, that Ghost House Pictures would team up with FilmDistrict to produce an Evil Dead remake, with Diablo Cody in the process of revising the script and Fede Alvarez directing.[5] Actor Shiloh Fernandez was cast in the lead male role of David.[8] Bloody Disgusting reported that Lily Collins would play the lead female role of Mia, but on January 24, 2012, she dropped out of the role.[9][10]

On February 3, 2012, it was announced that actress Jane Levy, star of the television series Suburgatory, would replace Collins in the lead female role as Mia.[11] Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore, and Jessica Lucas later joined the cast.[12][13]

In January 2013, Alvarez commented on the ambiguity of the film's relationship to the original:

Now, the way I personally like to see Evil Dead (2013), it's as a story that takes place 30 years after The Evil Dead ended. The car is there, the cabin is there (a family bought it and did some work on it more than 20 years ago) and the book has found its way back to the cabin... New kids will encounter it and suffer its wrath. Is Evil Dead a sequel then? Maybe. But the problem with the sequel theory would be that there are too many coincidences between the events on The Evil Dead and the ones on Evil Dead to have happened on a continuous story line [...] But if you believe the Naturom Demonto can force these things to happen... then it could be a sequel... and I do believe in coincidences.[14]

Alvarez, who also has a background in CGI, also confirmed in an interview that the film does not employ CGI (except for touch-ups): "We didn't do any CGI in the movie [...] Everything that you will see is real, which was really demanding. This was a very long shoot, 70 days of shooting at night. There's a reason people use CGI; it's cheaper and faster, I hate that. We researched a lot of magic tricks and illusion tricks."[15]

Sam Raimi's 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 can be seen in an opening scene with David and Mia as they arrive at the cabin. The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 has appeared in almost all of the movies that Raimi has been involved with over his career.


TriStar Pictures released the film theatrically on April 5, 2013 in the United States.[16] Alvarez tweeted on January 28, 2013 that the film first received an NC-17 rating, which prompted cuts in order to obtain the contractually obligated R-rating.[17] The film has been rated uncut as an 18 by the BBFC for containing strong "bloody violence, gory horror and very strong language".[18] Evil Dead premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX on March 8, 2013.[citation needed] The music for Evil Dead, composed by Roque Baños, was released by La-La Land Records in a 40-minute digital form and a 70-minute physical release, on April 9, 2013.[19]

Home media[edit]

Evil Dead was released on DVD and Blu-ray, on July 16, 2013.[20] The Blu-ray exclusives include commentary from three of the cast, and screenwriters Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, behind the scenes and a featurette, while the regular DVD will include three other featurettes.[21]


The film brought in $26 million in its opening weekend[22] and became a box office success, grossing over $54,239,856 domestically and $43,303,096 internationally, for a worldwide take of $97,542,952.

Evil Dead has received generally positive reviews. The film has since earned a "fresh" score of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 173 reviews with an average rating of 6.1/10; the consensus states: "It may lack the absurd humor that underlined the original, but the new-look Evil Dead compensates with brutal terror, gory scares, and gleefully bloody violence."[23] On Metacritic, the film holds a 57% rating based on 38 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[24] Criticism focuses on the characters and some of the story being spoiled by the trailers for the film.

Evan Dickson from Bloody Disgusting reviewed the film at SXSW, and went on to say that "Evil Dead is amazingly gory and fun" and gave the film 4/5 stars.[25] Chris Tilly of IGN gave Evil Dead 9/10, and called the movie a "terrifying, exhilarating and relentlessly entertaining new chapter in the Evil Dead story".[26] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film a positive review, calling it a "remake that will win the hearts of many of the original's fans."[27] Independent horror review site HorrorTalk gave the film four stars out of five saying it is "the most unrelenting and bloody horror film to come out of a major studio in a very long time".[28] Emma Simmonds of The List commented, "Evil Dead has ample cheap shocks and few bloodcurdling frights but it builds to something gorily bravura and, if that's your bag, you'll come away satisfied. It's a while before anyone picks up a chainsaw, but boy is it worth it when they do."[29] Matt Singer called the film "an assault on the senses" and "a success, one that out-Evil Deads the original movie with even more gore, puke, blood, and dismembered limbs. It may not be wildly inventive, but it is effective, and plenty faithful to the spirit — and tagline — of the first 'Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror.'"[30]

Richard Roeper rated the film one star out of four, criticizing the film's unoriginality, the characters' lack of intelligence, and the films reliance on gore for what he felt were cheap scares. He concluded his review by saying, "I love horror films that truly shock, scare and provoke. But after 30 years of this stuff, I'm bored to death and sick to death of movies that seem to have one goal: How can we gross out the audience by torturing nearly every major character in the movie?"[31]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2013 Golden Trailer Awards[32] Best Horror TV Spot TriStar Pictures and mOcean for "Everything's Fine" Nominated
2014 Empire Awards Best Horror Nominated
Saturn Award Best Make-Up Patrick Baxter, Jane O'Kane and Roger Murray Nominated


At the SXSW premiere event, Alvarez announced that a sequel is in the works.[33][34] In addition, Sam Raimi confirmed plans to write Evil Dead 4 with his brother; it was later specified that this film would be Army of Darkness 2.[35] At a WonderCon panel in March 2013, Campbell and Alvarez stated that their ultimate plan was for Alvarez's Evil Dead 2 and Raimi's Army of Darkness 2 to be followed by a seventh film which would merge the narratives of Ash and Mia.[36] On October 30, 2013, co-writer Sayagues confirmed to DeadHollywood that he and Alvarez will not return for the sequel.[37] That same month, Alvarez took to his Twitter that the rumor is not true.[38][39]


  1. ^ The "Naturon Demonto" is a Sumerian variation of the Book of the Dead.
  2. ^ This scene featured the voice of Ellen Sandweiss, repeating Cheryl's post-possession speech from the original film.


  1. ^ "EVIL DEAD (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b Evil Dead at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Just how evil is the new Evil Dead?". The New Zealand Herald. April 19, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Review: Zeitgeists & Demons: Fede Alvarez's 'Evil Dead'". 20 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b McIntyre, Gina (July 13, 2011). "'Evil Dead' remake: Diablo Cody polishing script for first-time director". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "ImBruce Campbell comments on I'm Bruce Campbell: AMA". Reddit. April 12, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Fernandez to haunt 'Evil Dead'". Variety. February 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Two Possible Lead Actresses for 'The Evil Dead'". Bloody Disgusting. January 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "'The Evil Dead' Remake Loses Lily Collins". IndieWire.com. January 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Jane Levy Is New Star Of 'Evil Dead' Remake". Deadline.com. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 10, 2012). "Lou Pucci in talks for 'Evil Dead'". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ "'Melrose Place' Actress Joining 'Evil Dead' Remake". The Hollywood Reporter. March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ Vespe, Eric "Quint" (January 7, 2013). "Quint visits the set of Evil Dead and holds the book of the dead, sees a ton of gore and even spots a classic cameo!". aintitcool.com. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ Dickson, Evan (January 6, 2013). "No CGI At All In The New 'Evil Dead'?!!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  16. ^ Evil Dead Official Website, Sony Pictures (January 20, 2013). "'Evil Dead' Rating". MPAA. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  17. ^ Fede Alvarez, Twitter (January 28, 2013). "'Evil Dead' Rating". Twitter. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ "EVIL DEAD | British Board of Film Classification". BBFC.CO.UK. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  19. ^ "'Soundtrack Details for Evil Dead Revealed, La-La Land to Distribute'". Bloody Disgusting. March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Evil Dead Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  21. ^ "'Evil Dead' To Bloody Up Blu-ray On July 16th!! -". bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  22. ^ "'Weekend Box Office Numbers'". April 8, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Evil Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  24. ^ Evil Dead at Metacritic
  25. ^ "[BD Review] ‘Evil Dead’ Is A Thrillingly Gory Blast". BloodyDisgusting. 
  26. ^ Chris Tilly 9 Mar 2013 (2013-03-09). "Evil Dead Review - IGN". Ca.ign.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  27. ^ "Evil Dead: SXSW Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-03-09. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  28. ^ HorrorTalk.com, Website (March 13, 2013). "Evil Dead 2013 Movie Review". Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  29. ^ Simmonds, Emma (March 26, 2013). "Fede Alvarez's horror remake doesn't better the original, but is still satisfyingly gory". The List. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ Singer, Matt (March 9, 2013). "Evil Dead Review". Screen Crush. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  31. ^ Roeper, Richard (April 3, 2013). "Evil Dead'". rogerebert.com. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  32. ^ "The 14th Annual Golden Trailer Award Nominees". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  33. ^ Douglas, Edward (2013-03-09). "No Evil Dead 4…. Army of Darkness 2!". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  34. ^ "Evil Dead Remake: New Characters, New Story, & Bruce Campbell Cameo". Screenrant.com. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  35. ^ "Sam Raimi’s Next Project is Army of Darkness 2′' Not Evil Dead 4". Screenrant.com. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  36. ^ Fischer, Russ (March 30, 2013). "Bruce Campbell and ‘Evil Dead’ Director Fede Alvarez Would Love to Merge Original and Remake Storylines". slashfilm.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013. 
  37. ^ "BREAKING: Evil Dead Writer Confirms He and Fede Alvarez Exited the Sequel. Describes 'Machina'". Desdehollywood.com. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  38. ^ "Twitter / fedalvar: "@MikeMcCabeSad Apparently". Twitter.com. 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 
  39. ^ "UPDATED: 'Evil Dead 2' Is Still On With Fede Alvarez". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2014-02-17. 

External links[edit]