When Eric discovers a Book of the Dead in the basement to the cabin, he unwittingly uses it to summon an evil spirit from the nearby woods. The spirit possesses the young people, who must fight for their survival.
Longtime fans of the franchise will notice subtle homages to the original film throughout.
The film relies much more heavily on practical effects than computer-generated imagery, something of a novelty in 2013. Unfortunately, however, while the original “The Evil Dead” staked out new territory for the horror genre, the remake, perhaps inevitably, has a been-there, done-that feel.
Like many horror films, the characters must make increasingly stupid decisions to drag themselves into deeper and deeper jeopardy.
And despite the involvement of writer Diablo Cody (“Juno”), the internal logic of the film doesn't entirely hold together. It's a competently done remake that fans of the original will likely appreciate, though the over-the-top gore and violence will likely be too much for the uninitiated.
— Matthew Price