Perhaps unsurprisingly, the remake of 1981's gore-fest Evil Dead is a love-it-or-hate-it affair. The new version has fewer laughs and even more blood and guts than its predecessor, critics say:
- The new Evil Dead has "none of the first movie’s handmade charm or hilarity, intentional or otherwise," writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times, noting that the film, directed by Fede Alvarez, "approaches the creaky material with a surprisingly straight face." What does it have in common with the first film? "Blood lust."
- Indeed, the "tone is completely different, as the helmer rarely attempts to emulate the self-mocking, over-the-top campiness that distinguished the original," writes Joe Leydon at Variety. Still, with its references to the original, it's "the rare remake that likely will be enjoyed most by diehard fans of its predecessor."
- In the Los Angeles Times, Mark Olsen applauds the film's "gleeful exuberance of its own analogous to the mad invention of the original." Its best feature "is its tone, paying homage yet staking its own territory; it's scary without being downbeat, fun without being too jokey."
- "Gorehounds will have a field day with the plentiful mutilations, decapitations, and other blood-drenched moments in the redo," writes Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. Guess he's not a gorehound: He gave it one star.