Family Movie Review: Evil Dead (R)

EvilDead ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReview

EvilDead ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): 0

MPAA Rating: R        Length: 91 minutes

Age Appropriate for: 17+. This is very, very much a hard R, far more grotesque, gory, and gruesome than the original, which had a far campier, goofier feel. This remake, however, is overwhelmingly gratuitous in how disgusting it gets (a few different rape scenes, demon imagery copied from “The Exorcist,” dismemberment, torture, lots of cursing, every terrible thing ever), and parents shouldn’t be fooled into letting their teens (or their children) see it.

The original ‘The Evil Dead,’ released in 1981, was a cult classic, a mix of horror and humor that helped enliven the genre and made a star out of actor Bruce Campbell. This remake, billing itself as ‘the most terrifying movie you will ever experience,’ is less frightening than it is revolting, a total sensory assault that uses excess to cover up its lack of originality.

By Roxana Hadadi

Here at Chesapeake Family’s Popcorn Parents movie blog, we try to keep our reviews of R-rated films to a minimum, and whenever we do consider doing one, we try to figure out if the film would appeal to teenagers, if it’s actually OK for a younger-than-17 demographic, and why or why not that may be the case. (Fine-for-the-family R-rated movies do, of course, exist; last year’s Oscar darling “Silver Linings Playbook” is a prime example.)

So when “Evil Dead” came around, I remembered what a cult classic the original was (I myself saw it when I was 13 or so, and loved it for how different it was from the majority of other torture-heavy horror films that were being released in the late ’90s and early ’00s), and I thought, “Well, of course it’s rated R! The original was also violent! But that wasn’t so bad. Maybe parents will want to see this with their own teenagers, and relish in the campiness together.”