...to the point where a gore-fest like this reset of "The Evil Dead" series failed to impress me. Sadly, mindless Grand Guignol appears to be still popular, and the profit margin of this one will undoubtedly spawn a sequel. More's the pity. Truthfully, the ensemble acting from a quintet of relative unknowns is passable, the DP work from Kiwi Aaron "Spartacus: War of the Damned" Morton is quite nice, and certainly the goo and gristle are up to snuff (been looking for a place to stick that pun for awhile), but unfortunately it's all in the service of tyro auteur Fede "Yes, my first feature film!" Alvarez' pedestrian script and workmanlike-at-best direction. Others are apparently also to blame for the script, including Diablo "Juno" Cody, and likely should be held equally responsible---small recompense to the viewer, though.
After a pointless prologue that could have easily been dealt with in a one-minute flashback, the story (such as it is) settles into an uninspiring realm of hack work, providing nothing in the way of interesting characters to latch onto and even less in the way of surprises, tension and---most important---scares. The film's tagline is sad example of hyperbole and hubris; the only thing terrifying about this misfire is that so many people fell for the hype, and now we'll have to put up with another one down the line. Gone are virtually any traces of what made Raimi's original film memorable, mostly a sense of humor and the spark of genuine imagination. Alvarez' "Evil Dead" is deadly serious and deadly intent on making money from an indiscriminate audience, which renders it deadly dull.
Let's put it this way: when several of the main characters purportedly wait "all morning" for the rest of their party to arrive at a remote cabin without any of them bothering to check and see if they can actually get in the place, only to discover upon that arrival that the door has already been breached by forced entry...well, you know as an audience that your intelligence and willful suspension of disbelief are not going to be respected, and that all the homages and references to the original film aren't going to make a bit of difference.
I shudder to think what sort of self-congratulatory extras are going to be in the BluRay/DVD release. They're certainly going to be more entertaining (but not in a good way) than this hapless remake of a classic lo-fi horror movie that should have been left alone.
8.27.13 edit: Against my better judgment, I revisited this one on DVD (okay, fine, it was from the library, shoot me) and stand by everything I said above. Thankfully, the three promo featurettes were not, as I had feared, overly self-congratulatory, and actually left me feeling a little more charitable toward the writer/director and his leading lady, but none of them altered my opinion of the film itself. "Evil Dead" is make-work, Sturgeon's Revelation all the way.