We begin with a dad who must burn alive his daughter-demon, something my dad wanted to do to my sister-demon on many occasions.
This is a movie about an Evil Book! Read the words aloud – or silently while moving your lips the way Matthew McConaughey does – and an Eternal Evil is unleashed on a remote cabin where the cellar leads to Hell – or the Charlie Sheen DVD archive, in the unlikely event of a difference.
Utter the words and Evil on a steadicam comes racing through the woods to the sound of a Formula 1 racer.
What’s that coming near?
It’s the sound of evil! Or we’re on the final lap of the Indy 500!
Listen, when a book is wrapped in plastic and barbed wire and the opening page says “leave this book alone,” only a fool or a long-haired member of the Doobie Brothers circa 1978 would read it.
Unfortunately at least one member of the vintage Doobies is on hand and knows how to read, even if it takes him 90 minutes to read a book that’s all pictures.
But first we have to explore a complicated brother / sister / mother relationship that will have you yelling at the screen, “What’s next on Lifetime, Jennifer Love Hewitt?”
Bring on the Evil Dead! Or the soul-obsessed dead! Or the irascible dead! Or the cliché-prone dead! Or the dermatologically-challenged dead! Because all of them are in this movie. And most of these actors were born to play dead, if you know what I mean.
Mia is the sister. She is a lover of nature quite literally, as a branch crawls up her skirt most likely in search of a bush. The resulting cunnilimbus will make even the most heroic landscaper blush.
“I just had sex with a tree!” Mia told her friends, lighting up a smoke. “Stuff that in your gold tooth and suck on it, Kei$ha.”
Our heroes, such as they are, are pretty people who cut off their own limbs like so many feckless boyfriends.
“And I thought a Brazilian wax was painful,” said the blondest of our heroes, the one with so little dialogue that if she had a switch and a lampshade you could use her for illumination were not her bulb so very dim.
“Under normal circumstances I would never cut off my own arm unless Kim Kardashian made it a style statement first,” she said, remarking on one of her housemates now morphed into what is obviously Satan’s spawn:
“Does this mean I can have her cute shoes?”
Yes, this is the caliber of acting that is accustomed to answering the phrase “I will feast on your soul!” with “and would you like any fries with that?”
The best line in the movie was uttered by the Evil Dead herself: “I can smell your filthy soul!”
I don’t know what a filthy soul smells like – is it anything like the smell of your future cameo role as Tiffani Amber Thiessen’s forgettable neighbor on the ABC Family Channel?
Cut to the Book of Evil, which reveals a drawing of the real threat: A demon with a candle on its head!
A demon with a candle on its head?! Where is this demon from, anyway, Who-ville?
Fortunately our heroes have some defense because one among them was wise enough to bring a nail gun on their vacation. I don’t know about you, but my nail gun hasn’t missed a camping holiday in years. Nail gun, Revolutionary War re-enactment costume – they all come with me when I go camping.
“Why does my face hurt,” says the Evil Blonde who evidently missed the presence of a dozen nails in her head, which is surprising since it means something was finally in her head.
All in all, Evil Dead wasn’t bad and it wasn’t great. There are only so many degrees of freedom in this concept, let’s face it. And lightning is not likely to strike twice.
But if it did, I hope it homes in on one particular blonde.