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dir-scr Fede Alvarez
prd Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Robert G Tapert
with Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore, Jim McLarty, Phoenix Connolly, Sian Davis, Stephen Butterworth, Karl Willetts, Randal Wilson, Rupert Degas
release US 5.Apr.13, UK 19.Apr.13
13/US TriStar 1h31
Don't go down the stairs: Fernandez and friends
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
This remake of Sam Raimi's iconic 1981 classic has a few decent ideas up its sleeve, plus a gleefully gruesome current of extreme grisliness. At the same time, it's never actually scary, apart from a couple of good jolts. There's some nice character development, but actual suspense never materialises.
To help Mia (Levy) go cold turkey and quit drugs for good, her brother David (Fernandez) and three friends (Lucas, Pucci and Blackmore) take her to the old family cabin in the woods. But its basement has unknowingly been used for a grisly ceremony, and a creepy old book was left there that just might be able to summon a violent demon who wants to possess them all. So is Mia just suffering nasty withdrawal symptoms, or is something much worse at work here?
This spin adds a terrific layer of meaning to both the plot and the relationships, as Mia's fraught interaction is tinged with all kinds of issues. Some of these friends have been through rehab with her before, but this seems to be rather a lot worse. And by the time things take a very grisly turn, it's too late. What follows is an increasingly crazed series of ghastly scenes of dismemberment and death using every sharp implement imaginable. And then some.
All of this is assembled in extremely high quality, with a cast that manages to bring out tiny character details even in the deranged final act. In addition, Aaron Morton's superb cinematography makes the most of every shadow, Bryan Shaw's editing finds plenty of wicked wit, and Roque Banos' score keeps us thoroughly unnerved. Although this brings up the fact that the only really scary stuff here is on the soundtrack, with loud noises and freaky music catching us off guard.
By contrast, what we're watching has that inevitable march toward an finale we can see coming, even with a number of twists, turns, a false ending or two, and one more vicious gag just to remind us how far this genre can go. But despite the graphic gore, scary movie fans will find almost funnier than it is terrifying, as we enjoy the filmmaker's depiction of horror rather than actually being frightened by anything.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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