Rob a blind war-veteran’s house, how hard is that going to be you think? Well, if it’s this guy you think you want to rob, you better give it another thought. Fede Alvarez rebooted or remade (one of the two) Evil Dead and now he comes up with this?! He is the master of R-rated thriller/horror, no doubt about that. If you have read till here but haven’t watched the movie yet,I’d suggest you to go watch the movie 1st. It will definitely be worth it. Then come read this, this review ain’t going anywhere. Those who have watched it though, carry on.
DIRECTION – Even though Evil Dead didn’t receive any critical acclaim but I absolutely loved it. Fede Alvarez knows how to mix music, lighting and believable characters and serve it as a beautiful dish. Well, by the end of the movie I don’t think so the word ‘beautiful’ will hold up but you know what I mean. I was kind of confused with the opening shot. I thought, why show the conclusion? Now, I know what is going to happen? Then when you give it a few more minutes and things start to roll and take shape you forget about the ultimate consequence and get way too invested. The last time I was so invested in a horror/thriller movie was the Descent. I was absolutely shattered at the final reveal in that movie and it happened again with this one. The movie did falter at places like the characterisation. There is always a douche, a damsel and the hero character. The trick is to humanise them and make them believable. The damsel is a mixture of a damsel and a hero and the hero is a mix of damsel and hero. Well the douche is still a douche. The ending particularly is amazing. If you pause the movie at the right moment, you can see him standing right there. I think.
CINEMATOGRAPHY – Right from the aerial shot in the beginning of the movie, you know the movie is going to have the right tone. The colour grading is perfect. Most of the movie is in low light, dim light and even no light. Pedro Luque deserves a standing ovation for his amazing work. It is very difficult to capture claustrophobia and invoke that feeling in the audience even though you are not claustrophobic. I can’t praise his work enough. I am actually using one of the shots in the movie as the featured image because it is that amazing. Marvel needs a good cinematographer. Just saying. Here is a guy. TAKE HIM ALREADY!!
ACTING – I tip my imaginary hat to Stephen Lang. I haven’t seen much of him after Avatar but man that was something. Psychotic, strong, unhinged, ferocious and I am still defining his character. He is Stick, Daredevil, Logan and Batman all mixed up into one. It was amazing. He has very few lines and he does some amazing job without saying anything. Great job by the young cast of Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette. They started very wooden and cliched but right after the action started they brought on their A-game.
FINAL VERDICT – Certainly going up in my Top 10 movie list. I love movies that leave you disturbed. I mean if it intends to do so then you should feel disturbed or else the movie hasn’t done it’s job. Definitely, definitely watch it. I can’t emphasise this enough. It’s so great to see so many different kinds of movies being made. The movie is so well balanced between two dark sides and you feel morally obligated to choose a side. I love the mental duel that a movie provides and through this process it reminds the audience and film-makers the craft of engaging the audience while also creating a great movie.