One Of The Scariest Scenes In Evil Dead Sees A Killer In The Mirror

(Welcome to Scariest Scene Ever, a column dedicated to the most pulse-pounding moments in horror with your tour guides, horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato. In this edition, Chris advises you to not cut your own face off while watching "Evil Dead" 2013.)

The idea of a remake of "The Evil Dead" seemed like a form of blasphemy at one point, but horror hounds appear to love Fede Álvarez's remake/reboot/reimagining/etc, the 2013 film "Evil Dead" (it drops the "the," it's cleaner that way). Me? I'm somewhere in the middle. I love the nasty, gory, overwhelmingly bleak atmosphere Álvarez and company created for the film. However, a lot of the dialogue is so painfully bad that it takes me out of the movie on more than one occasion. I'm not saying I expected Shakespearian prose from "Evil Dead," but I know they could've done a lot better. No matter — the film is still plenty visceral and scary, and that brings us to today's Scariest Scene Ever entry.

The setup

Just like the original movie, "Evil Dead" drops a bunch of young characters off in a cabin in the woods. But instead of a fun weekend getaway, these folks are here for a serious reason. Mia (Jane Levy) is a drug addict, and her brother and friends have gathered here to hopefully help her kick her habit by secluding her far, far away from temptation. But Mia's addictions will soon be the least of their problems, especially when total bonehead Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) reads from the infamous Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead, and unleashes evil demonic entities that proceed to possess people. 

The story so far

As our characters become possessed they both turn on each other — and themselves. For whatever reason, these evil dead demons are really into self-mutilation. Which means we not only get scenes of characters attack each other, but also grisly, ghastly moments where people cut their own arms off and carve up their own faces. The blood and gore are truly off the charts in the movie, and the fact that it was all created practically is a testament to how committed the movie was to freaking its audience out. 

The scene

After becoming possessed in the woods, Mia returns to the cabin and eventually vomits a metric ton of blood onto the face of her friend Olivia (Jessica Lucas). As you might imagine, this causes the possession to spread to Olivia, who retreats to the bathroom. When King of the Idiots Eric comes in to check on her he's horrified to find her carving her own face off — because she saw her demonic self in the bathroom mirror. That's not enough, though! Soon, Olivia is attacking Eric and stabbing him in the face, repeatedly, with a needle. Ouch. 

It's horrifying to watch because it's presented in a relentless, brutal, unflinching way. We even see, in the aftermath, Eric pulling a bit of needle out of his face. But before that happens he has to stop Olivia, and he does so by bashing her head into a bloody, pulpy mess. Gore on its own isn't inherently scary, but the cacophony of unabridged insanity unfolding in this scene creates a genuinely unnerving moment that will have you on edge. 

The impact (Matt's Take)

I've been here once before talking about 2013's "Evil Dead," and I'm overjoyed Chris chose to honor its 10th anniversary this week for a revisit. My choice was the basement jump scare, but Chris highlights the other aggressively effective element of Fede Álvarez's vision — unshakable gore. Jessica Lucas' smile-carved face is a Deadite masterclass, and the brutality that follows leaves viewers gasping for breath. The needle pulled from flesh just below Lou Taylor Pucci's eye socket, the broken bones of Lucas' demonic attacker, the juices dripping out of gaping wounds — "Evil Dead" goes so f#cking hard, with a stress on capital "E" evil. Pucci's character is forced to bash his friend into pulp to survive, then deal with the emotional baggage afterward. Pure, unadulterated horror.