This Week In Home Entertainment: Evil Dead, 42, Hell On Wheels And More

By Jessica Rawden 2013-07-16 12:47:05discussion comments
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It’s hard to picture two releases that are more opposite than the big two this week. Evil Dead is a movie that revels in gruesome violence set in a cabin in the woods while 42 is a movie about a baseball team, and more importantly, about avoiding violence in order to help break down racial barriers in the sport. One story is horrifying and one is heartwarming, and if neither of those two releases suit your fancy, there's plenty more that's out this week. Beyond the two big movies, this week offers fans plenty of TV sets, including sci fi, animation, and a Blu-ray and DVD set prefacing the return of AMC’s Hell on Wheels. Read on to learn about some of July 16th’s best releases, and maybe even a few that may have slipped under your radar.

“Evil
Evil Dead Blu-ray
Fede Alvarez’s loose reboot and continuation of the Evil Dead series made famous by Sam Raimi is a gory and harrowing story of a group of friends who head to a cabin in the woods with the goal of helping a young woman named Mia (Jane Levy) get over a severe drug addiction. Dealing with an addicted young woman in the woods is already a little freaky and problematic, but add demons and even possessed trees and you end up with a recipe for death and disaster filled with nods at Raimi’s original Evil Dead film.

Since Raimi’s film at the time was banned in some areas due to its gory nature, it’s hard to believe Alvarez’s film might strive to be even more blood-littered than its predecessor, but the nature of this film is inherently more creepily violent and less campy than the movies that came before. This may be tough for fans of Raimi’s films to invest in, as well as tough for audiences who prefer suspense and an exciting pace in horror films to blatant, cringe-inducing gore.

Despite this, Levy brings a lot to the table in Evil Dead, willing to put a lot of physicality into her performance as a possessed individual. She’s joined by a slew of up-and-coming names who all get into the destructive nature of the film, including Red Riding Hood’s Shiloh Fernandez, The Story of Luke’s Lou Taylor Pucci, Cult’s Jessica Lucas, and Legend of the Seeker actress Elizabeth Blackmore. The youthful cast is one of the things that ties the film back to the original, and each of the members brings a familiar horror character to the table, while still adding to the compelling nature of the film. Evil Dead may not be the best horror film the year has to offer, but it may be the most dedicated to violence. If you are alright with films that take violence to an extreme, it’s worth a watch.

You can order Evil Dead on Amazon.

Best Special Feature: The bonus features are all short, behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film, filled with interviews from the actors and the other creative forces who worked behind the scenes. Most of the extras really could have been put together in a lengthy “Making of” documentary, but instead, they are separated, which means audiences must spend a lot of time perusing through the menu to watch a few short segments.

The best of these short segments is the initial “Directing the Dead” segment, which goes through the script, the set-up, Alvarez’s process, and even covers some of the old school camera tricks the crew ended up using, despite getting a decent $17 million production budget to bring the story to the big screen. If you did enjoy the movie, Blu-ray copies come with a few extra bonus features, the rest of which can be seen, below.

Other Special Features:
“Making Life Difficult”
“Being Mia”
Cast and Filmmaker commentary (Blu-ray only)
“Unleashing the Evil Force” (Blu-ray only)
Evil Dead the Reboot”
discussion
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