Evil Dead appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became a strong transfer.
Sharpness looked terrific. At no time did I discern any instances of softness or ill-defined shots. Instead, the movie consistently came across as nicely accurate and concise. I saw no issues connected to jagged edges or shimmering, and I also detected no signs of edge enhancement. The movie lacked any examples of print flaws, as I witnessed no specks, marks, or other defects during this clean and smooth presentation.
Dead gave us a pretty restricted palette, with an emphasis on a somewhat sepia look. The colors were appropriately vivid when necessary and seemed accurately depicted. Black levels also came across well, while low-light shots seemed clear and adequately visible. Shadow was clean and tight. Given the darkness seen in much of the film, those components became especially important, so their high quality was an important factor in the success of the transfer. Overall, the image of Dead appeared solid.
Dead didn’t present a tremendously ambitious DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield, but the audio seemed to accentuate the visuals well. It mixed creepy atmosphere with a mix of jolts and “assault moments” from the rear.
In the front, the track showed good stereo music and presented various elements in a logical and natural manner. The elements blended neatly and created a seamless sense of the environment. From the rear, thunder and aggressive violent components added kick to the proceedings and made the mix more immersive and involving.
Audio quality seemed positive. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and crisp, with no edginess or intelligibility issues on display. Music was clear and dynamic. The score seemed broadly reproduced and complemented the mix nicely.
Effects mostly stayed in the low-key realm, but they always were distinctive and concise, and the mix boasted fine clarity for the louder moments. Bass response always seemed rich and firm. The mix lacked the ambition to reach “A” level, but it earned a solid “B+” as a fine soundtrack.
Within the set’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Fede Alvarez, writer Rodo Sayagues and actors Jane Levy, Lou Taylor Pucci and Jessica Lucas. All five sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the original film and its adaptation, story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects, stunts and action, music, editing, and other topics.
All in all, the commentary covers the film fairly well. Yeah, it occasionally bogs down in praise – usually in the form of “I love this shot” remarks – but it still manages to give us a positive overview of the production. Don’t expect greatness from it, but it informs well enough,
Five featurettes follow. Directing the Dead goes for seven minutes, 25 seconds and provides notes from Alvarez, Levy and actor Elizabeth Blackmore. The show looks at “realism”, rehearsals and working with the actors, cast and performances, and the tone on the set. Nothing spectacular arises here, but we get some decent notes and a few nice glimpses of the shoot.
During the nine-minute, 50-second Evil Dead The Reboot, we hear from Alvarez, Sayagues, Levy, producers Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell, and executive producer JR Young. We hear about the adaptation of the original film and issues related to that topic. We don’t get much about this subject in the commentary, so “Reboot” helps flesh out the area well.
With Making Life Difficult, we find an eight-minute, 13-second piece with Alvarez and Levy. This one concentrates on the physical hardships the Mia role placed on Levy. We find more good footage from the set and receive a nice understanding of what she experienced.
Unleashing the Evil Force runs five minutes, seven seconds and features Tapert, Young, Campbell, and Pucci. They discuss the film’s “Book of the Dead” and supernatural elements in the film. It feels more like a primer than anything else, but it delivers a few good notes.
Finally, Being Mia lasts nine minutes, 13 seconds and delivers comments from Alvarez and Levy. She mostly delivers a video diary that shows us her makeup transformation into “evil Mia” and other aspects of her typical day. It’s a nice complement to “Difficult”.
The disc opens with ads for Olympus Has Fallen, Breakout and Magic Magic. Previews adds promos for Dead Man Down, The Call and The Last Exorcism Part II. No trailer for Evil Dead appears here.
Without Sam Raimi at the helm, I figured the 2013 Evil Dead remake would end up as a one-dimensional retread. However, it delivers its own tone and sensibility as it throws a dark, horrific tale our way. The 2013 film lacks the original’s crazed anarchy, but it does well in its own right. The Blu-ray presents excellent visuals, very good audio and a fairly useful set of bonus materials. This Dead helps reinvent the original and works well in its own right.