An overexplained nightmare: explanations are what this remake has in place of the anarchic whimsy of the original. Why are the pretty young people going to hang out at a creepy cabin in the woods? Because they're trying to help their friend quit drugs, and this is her childhood getaway. (Drugs are also why they don't believe she's possessed, at least, not at first.) Why do various awful things happen to them (especially the women)? Because there are corresponding pictures in this here book bound in human skin. There's an apocalyptic prophecy in there too, because everybody loves raised stakes. Oh, and also directions for stopping the badness. Fans of the original will nod with recognition (if not necessarily delight), and fans of intense, graphic violence will get their fill. Director Fede Alvarez famously eschewed CGI, and the gore is indeed lovingly handcrafted. There isn't much more to say. (2013) — Matthew Lickona
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