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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Appearing on the current Durban International Film Festival is Evil Dead directed by Fede Alvarez and starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez and Jessica Lucas. (Review by Pranesh Maharaj)

The movie delivers on its promise. It is a horror movie. My disappointment comes from being spoilt with the likes of Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and most recently Final Destination each of which, and in their respective sequels, had something new to boast about. A lot has evolved since Hitchcock and the only thing that is apparent about that in this film is that it is gory and horrific. (Excuse the redundancy) but if they can; why can’t I?

The idea of the book of curses worked well for me until events surrounding the book didn’t add up to what they revealed to me. Dismemberment would cast the evil away, but it didn’t. I needed to know why and the movie did not provide an explanation to that. Burying the possessed alive would cancel the Devil’s plans and it worked for only half a minute. If being faithful to the template of horror movies was more important than providing me with a believable fiction, then you have failed me as an audience. I would highly recommend this to those that follow the trilogy; but, if you are looking for something fresh in this genre don’t waste your time.  

Evil Dead had pockets of great moments for me. I needed those moments to add up to something so that I could take it away with me. I left empty-handed. The art department needs a huge pat on the back. The stunts and mechanics were brilliant in most places. The graphics were good and the colourist didn’t hold any punches. The sound was magnificent. The acting was mediocre and the screenplay and direction needed more attention. I would give this movie 5 ... out of 20. But again, if ‘horror’ is your thing; run to watch it.

Evil Dead will have two further showings:

July 27 at Cinema Nouveau Gateway at 20h30
July 28 at Musgrave B at 20h30.

Tickets for DIFF are through the respective venues and prices range from R25 to R35 (R50 for 3D screenings), except at Luthuli Museum, Blue Waters, Ekhaya and Bay of Plenty lawns, which are free of charge.

Programme booklets with the full screening schedule and synopses of all the films are available free at cinemas, and other public information outlets. Full festival details can also be found on or by calling 031 260 2506. – Pranesh Maharaj