Evil Dead (2013) Explained

An Average Movie-Goer’s Review

Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post

Evil Dead Explained poster

I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.

Today we’re looking at 2013’s Evil Dead, the sort of reboot but importantly not a remake of the original Evil Dead.

Four friends meet at an old family cabin in order to help their friend, Mia, overcome a drug addiction when one accidentally triggers a demonic prophecy that threatens them all.

Related Article: Evil Dead Rise (2023) Explained

Evil Dead (2013) Detailed Plot:

The film starts with a woman wandering the woods hiding from something as two men chase after her. She hides behind a tree but is quickly caught by the two and knocked out.

She awakens in a cabin, her head covered in a burlap sack, and surrounded by dead animals hanging off of hooks. A few feet from her a woman is preparing a ritual following instructions from a book.

A man removes the burlap sack and he’s revealed to be her father. He tells her she killed her mother and the people who captured her are there to help. He pours oil on her and prepares to light her on fire. She tells him he’s wrong and she didn’t do anything. As he lights the match, her face turns demonic and she threatens to rip his soul apart.

A deadite in Evil Dead (2013)
This escalated quickly

He lights her on fire and shoots her with a shotgun and I feel like he could have just led with that instead of the fire.

Title card pops up and we open on a car driving along a forest, arriving at a cabin. Couple David and Natalie (played by Shiloh Fernandez and Elizabeth Blackmore) and their dog, Grandpa, emerge from the car and meet with friends Olivia and Eric played by (Jessica Luca and Lou Taylor Pucci).

Eric tells David his sister, Mia (played by Jane Levy) is around the back of the cabin waiting for him. Mia is shocked he came as they haven’t seen each other in years. It’s revealed they used to come to the cabin a lot when they were younger. The reason they’re back is to help Mia get over her heroin addiction as she goes cold turkey.

Shiloh Fernandez as David in Evil Dead 2013
“Welcome to the worst day of your life!”

When entering the cabin they see the locks broken and throughout the years it’s become dilapidated. Needing repairs, the group works together to fix it up.

A little while later Olivia and Eric tell David this isn’t the first time Mia has tried to quit. A year ago she did the same thing and only lasted an hour before overdosing. She technically died until the EMTs brought her back to life.

That night a storm has rolled in and Mia is yelling, complaining about a smell. Olivia, who is a registered nurse, tells her she’s hypersensitive and there is no smell. Grandpa begins scratching at the carpet and pulls it, revealing a hidden door in the cellar. Opening it unleashes a smell of death confirming Mia’s suspicions.

Eric and David investigate the cellar, finding a room with long-dead animals hanging from the ceilings. It becomes clear this is the same room from the beginning of the movie, only years and years later. The two spot a shotgun with multiple shells and a book wrapped in garbage bags and barbed wire.

Eric and David find the book in the basement
“Hey you think that barbed wire is used to keep all the happy thoughts inside?”

Back in the living room, the group tries to figure out what to make of the stuff. Olivia thinks it’s voodoo but Mia only states they shouldn’t have touched anything.

Later, Eric hears whispers, uses pliers to break the barbed wire around the book, opens it, and reads the title “Naturom Demonto”. So Eric is an idiot. 

The Necronomicon in Evil Dead 2013
This can’t be a bad idea, right?

Going through the pages, he ignores warnings people have written in the book to not say “his name”. But, because this movie has to happen, he finds a name and says it out loud, “Kunda Astratta Montosse Canda”.

In the forest, something starts flying past the trees and appears to fly into Mia who throws up. Thinking it’s just the withdrawals, she tries to hold it together until she sees a woman in tattered clothes staring at her in the forest. She runs back into the cabin and starts packing telling Olivia she thinks she’s losing her mind. 

The group tells her they’re not going to take her home and she flips out storming off into her room. Eric opens the door to talk to her but he discovers she jumped out of the window. The group hear the car start outside and we see Mia drive off.

Jessica Luca as Olivia in 2013's Evil Dead as Mia drives off leaving the group alone
“Why didn’t we take her keys?”

Turning on the windshield wipers, a woman in bloody clothes appears in front of the car, and Mia swerves to avoid her crashing into a lake, knocking herself out. She wakes up a short time later and escapes the car by crawling through the mud. 

She hears the others calling out to her but a woman emerges from the mud causing Mia to run. Several branches come to life and grab Mia, almost suffocating her before she’s able to lift herself up but stops when she sees a deadite version of herself.

Deadite Mia vomits a black vine that crawls up Mia’s leg. Following her screams, David and Olivia find Mia and bring her back to the cabin. A little while later, David attempts to talk to her while she’s cowering on the bed. She tells him he needs to get her out of there since there was something in the woods and it’s now in the room with them.

Unfortunately, David doesn’t believe her, thinks it’s the withdrawals, and tells her to get some rest. As he leaves Mia looks at the mirror and sees her deadite form staring back at her.

After cutting down the dead animals hanging in the cellar, David goes outside to put them in the trash and sees a blood trail. Following it, he finds Grandpa dead, his head having been bashed in with a hammer.

David immediately suspects Mia and runs inside but she is in the shower. When she doesn’t respond to his knocks, he breaks in and sees her sitting in scalding hot water, her skin burning. David tries to drive her to a hospital but the road is closed due to rain.

the roads are flooded
I don’t think the road exists anymore.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin, Eric has been transcribing the book and finds drawings of vines capturing a woman just as Mia described. He also sees a drawing foretelling of a possessed woman pouring boiling water on herself. But does he say anything? Of course not.

Later with everyone back at the cabin, Olivia has given Mia some sedatives to put her to sleep and the group begins to argue about what to do next. Mia appears holding the shotgun and despite pleas from David, she shoots him in the arm.

Jane Levy as Mia in Evil Dead (2013)
I don’t think those sedatives worked

A force blows the door open and a demonic voice threatens the group. Mia, in a demonic voice, says “You’re all going to die tonight” and collapses onto the ground. Olivia goes for the gun but Mia with full-blown demon eyes, grabs her arm and tackles her, vomiting blood all over her.

Olivia is able to toss her aside and into the open cellar door. Eric quickly shuts it and locks it before she can escape. Olivia runs into the room to get more of the sedative and to clean the blood off of her. There she sees a deadite version of herself in the mirror and sees the book flip open to a page displaying a woman with no mouth. She rushes to leave the room but is stopped by a force.

In the living room, the rest of the group hears the door slam and Eric goes to investigate hearing more clattering in the bathroom. Inside, he sees Olivia in the bathtub and the lightbulb smashed. He approaches Olivia who is revealed to be a deadite and attempts to cut her face off. 

Eric backs away in fear, slips on a piece of skin, and falls onto the edge of the toilet. Olivia jumps on him stabbing him with a glass shard in the shoulder, then stabbing him multiple times with a syringe. He manages to push her off and she slams her head on the sink breaking off a chunk.

Eric removes the needle from his cheek and sees Olivia is still alive and still very much demonic. 

Jessica Luca as deadite Olivia in Evil Dead 2013
I wasn’t planning on having a nightmare tonight, but here we are.

He grabs the piece of the sink that broke off and smashes her head in as David and Natalie open the door.

The three get to the garage, remove the shard from Eric’s shoulder, and try to bandage him up. In one of the stupidest moves of the movie, David sends Natalie into the house to get sugar and water for Eric who surprisingly doesn’t die. 

At worst multiple demons (deadites) are trying to kill them and at best, something is turning his friends into killers. Yet, sending someone, somewhere alone is still something David thinks is a good idea. 

Natalie runs into the house, grabs the water and sugar, and hears a loud bang. When she turns around she sees the cellar door open and the front door locks on its own. She hears Mia calling out to her and, in another stupid decision, she goes to check on her. Unsurprisingly she is dragged into the cellar as the door closes behind her.

Deadite Mia attacks her, biting her hand, and kissing her which I’m pretty sure is how the deadite is spreading its demonic curse. Before she can do anything else, David arrives and saves Natalie as the deadite tells him Mia is trapped in hell.

David shuts the cellar door, using chains and nails to seal it.

David consoles and Natalie (played by Shiloh Fernandez and Elizabeth Blackmore
Honestly, at this point, I blame David

Later David finds Eric trying to burn the book but the book remains unscathed. Eric tells him the book foretells some curse of a demon looking to take five souls and once that happens, the abomination will rise. He tells David the only way to save Mia is by killing her. I’m not sure Eric knows what saving someone means.

David, of course, refuses and tells him the rain has stopped which means soon the roads will be drivable and they’ll get help.

In the kitchen, Natalie is attending to her bite mark and pushes out some small leech-like things out of the bite but when her hand starts necrotizing, she realizes it’s too late. As it spreads up her arm Natalie grabs an electric carving knife and cuts her arm off to stop the spread. The power goes out as she screams.

Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie in 2013's Evil Dead
First somewhat smart decision anyone has made in this movie

David finds her and bandages her up, but she’s in shock and becomes unresponsive. Meanwhile, Eric has found three ways as outlined in the book to purify the possessed, live burial, dismemberment, or purification by fire. All of which sounds pretty lethal.

They argue as David thinks it’s a mental illness (WHAT?!) reasoning that his mother died of mental illness and maybe Mia is suffering from the same thing. Sure, but this theory completely ignores just about everything that’s been happening.

Eric calls him a coward and says he’s going to burn the place down but before they can do anything, Deadite Natalie appears with a nail gun. She shoots Eric’s hand and body multiple times then shoots David in the leg.

David is able to tackle her but when pulling out the nails in his legs Deadite Natalie disappears. He crawls for the shotgun and sees her coming at him with a crowbar. She gets a few hits on his arm before Eric shoots her with the nail gun. Deadite Natalie attacks Eric with the crowbar and is about to kill him when David shoots her arm off. 

Natalie as a Deadite in 2013's Evil Dead
“No offense but I don’t think this relationship is working out.”

The demon releases control of Natalie who questions what is going on before dying in David’s arms. David carries Eric, who is surprisingly still alive, outside to the car and agrees to burn the cabin down. He pours gasoline in and around the cabin and is about to light it on fire, but stops when he hears Mia singing a lullaby from when they were kids.

David devises a plan to save Mia and digs up a grave, grabs more of the sedative, and creates a makeshift defibrillator before entering the cellar. Mia attacks him with a box cutter, tosses him across to a pool of water created by the rain, and attempts to drown him. Eric appears and hits her with a shovel but not before she stabs him, finally killing him.

David injects Mia with the sedative and, following the instructions in the book, buries her alive. After some time the demonic presence around the land seems to disappear. David digs Mia up and uses the defibrillator to bring her back to life.

A little while later, Mia and David get ready to leave and David goes back in the cabin for his keys when he’s stabbed in the neck with pliers by Deadite Eric. 

Lou Taylor Pucci as Deadite Eric in 2013's Evil Dead
“I’m never going to die!”

Mia runs in but David throws her out and locks the door behind him. As he’s dying and with Deadite Eric approaching him, David grabs the shotgun and shoots a gas container igniting the entire cabin which also lights the two of them on fire. Unfortunately, with David’s death, the five souls the curse needed to raise the abomination have been taken.

Outside, it starts to rain blood and the Abomination, using Mia’s appearance, rises. Mia runs to the car but drops the keys, giving the abomination enough time to break the window. She escapes through the other door and crawls into a small hole leading to the tool shed.

There, she finds a chainsaw and fills it with gas but the Abomination arrives before she can start it.

The abomination in Evil Dead 2013
“Excuse me, are you trying to chainsaw me?”

Mia escapes, breaking a hole in the back of the shed, and runs outside. She hides under the car while attempting to start the chainsaw. As the Abomination arrives, Mia starts up the chainsaw and saws off its foot. She then crawls to the other side of the car.

The abomination flips the car over pinning and crushing Mia’s left arm as it crawls toward her. Mia rips her hand off to reach the chainsaw and saws the abomination in two from the head down, killing it.

The film ends with its body swallowed by the ground and the blood rain stopping as the sun rises.

Evil Dead (2013) Review:

Jane Levy’s performance is great, unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the rest of the cast until stuff starts going down. Before that, the dialogue seems forced and the acting is ehh.

The overall story is great for an Evil Dead property and pretty much sticks to the original’s spirit, at least at the beginning. The character decisions are probably some of the dumbest I’ve seen this month but fortunately, it doesn’t actually ruin the movie.

The worst decision is David’s lack of belief that there is some weird shit going on, sure he may be in denial but trying to attribute it to mental illness is ridiculous. Also, people have died, and you found a weird book talking about a curse and demons/deadites, there is clearly something going on.

The movie is also pretty gory and gross, by that I mean overly gory at times which is a staple in the series so if you’re not a fan of lots of blood or Evil Dead then it might not be for you. Still, if it’s something you don’t mind then add this movie to your list.

Related Article: Evil Dead Rise (2023) Explained


Stuff to Ignore

Rotten Tomatoes – 63%

Metacritic – 57

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