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'Evil Dead' (2012)
"Evil Dead" may sound like a straight remake on paper, but director Fede Alvarez gleefully forged his own path in this shockingly satisfying reboot of the Sam Raimi franchise that stays true to the giddy spirit of the original while offering up an arguably even more brutal horror show. What's different here isn't just the absence of Bruce Campbell's Ash (or any viable substitute) but the way Alvarez and co-screenwriter Rodo Sayagues smartly draw parallels between the metaphorical demons plaguing the heroin-addicted Mia (Jane Levy, in a heroic turn) and the very literal ones unleashed by the franchise's fabled Book of the Dead. Most importantly, the film is a fun ride with several effective shocks and a whole host of old-school, honest-to-god practical effects - in other words, a worthy successor to Raimi's beloved original trilogy.