This film, more than any other, had a weight of expectation upon it's shoulders to stand in the company of it's cult classic family. I have to say, it fared extremely well.
The classic three act structure was so well constructed and honed that it felt like a breath of fresh air from a great many contemporary horror texts, that seem to lose the story plot in the final third. The thread of the story is consistent throughout all three acts. No implausible tangents within the world we are allowed to experience.
From the moment we first arrive at the cabin, we are not only thrown into a family drama of death, addiction and abandonment but we start on a journey of homage to all previous incantations of the franchise. At times these nods of affection are subtle, other times not so. Whether it's a prop (gotta love that car), shot composition (reminiscent of Ash at the grave side), or the editing techniques (quick cuts and fast in-camera zooms) I found all of these moments rather affectionate and respectfully placed.
The script was very well adapted for a more contemporary movie savvy audience and the vehicle of addiction and cold turkey served the story greatly. The basic premise consisted of 5 friends heading to a cabin in the hope of helping one to go cold turkey from heroin use. However, they discover a book, bound in barbed wire, (I would have taken the hint). After reading from it's pages, they unleash a demon that, coincidently, needs 5 souls to return and reek hell on earth.
From the moment Mia heads into the woods and Eric releases the demon spirit via the pages in the book, she has to endure a very, very unfortunate experience (the fans will know what I mean). This then spirals and we are subjected to an absolute tidal wave of blood, gore, horror and humour that even for me, felt never ending (but in a good way). I counted 11 people leaving the auditorium, never to return. The tension far too great. The pace of the horror and the build up of terror was expertly crafted and it was the subtle moments of humour within the gore, that for me was the icing on the cake within this great horror film.
If you're a fan of the franchise, or have read any reviews of this beast, then you are aware that deaths are a guarantee and it's only a matter of time before all are affected, infected, subjected and/or mutilated.
This is a movie to see with your mates, or for those girlfriends that you really want to not call you back. However you get to the cinema doesn't really matter, just get your ass sat in the dark, await the curtain, sit through the trailers and survive the film. Whatever you do, WAIT until the end of the credits. You will not be disappointed!