It’s safe to say that Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead is one of the most influential genre films of the modern era. It’s easy to understand why, considered a classic by most, (though admittedly I’m not a big fan), and the formula couldn’t be easier or cheaper to recreate, a few kids alone in a cabin with a supernatural threat. But for all of that, few of the attempts to emulate it have been worthwhile. Alexander Babaev’s (Row 19) debut feature Bornless Ones attempts to recapture the magic.
Bornless Ones begins with a prologue showing the fate of the cabin’s previous inhabitant. The main story concerns a group of friends helping Emily (Margaret Judson, The Newsroom) and her brother Zach (Michael Johnston, Slash, Teen Wolf). They need to move into a remote cabin near the facility where Zach will be receiving treatment for cerebral palsy. Finding strange, rune-like sigils drawn around the cabin Woodrow (Mark Furze, Tell Me How I Die) taunts the spirits by smashing a table one is drawn on.
Emily has horrible nightmares and in the morning Zach seems cured. After Zach is sent off with his doctor the friends clean up the cabin. They wash away the other symbols because they’re creepy. Zach reappears after killing the doctor, simply saying “They’re almost here”. It’s about to get messy, very, very messy.
Bornless Ones takes the basic idea of Evil Dead, gives it a slightly more believable twist then lets the blood flow. Starting with their attack on Woodward’s pregnant girlfriend Michelle (Bobby T). Taunting her about a previous abortion before moving in for the kill. The kills here are quite bloody and backed up with lots of good old school practical effects. The abundant and creative gore effects are one of the things that really helps set the film apart.
The other thing that helps make Bornless Ones rise above the competition is writer/director Babev himself. While this is his first feature he has plenty of experience directing shorts and working as an assistant director on shorts and features. He obviously learned well on them, avoiding most of the issues that plague low budget horror films.
While Bornless Ones doesn’t really do anything groundbreaking there are enough interesting twists to keep it from seeming to familiar. And it certainly delivers on scares, atmosphere and gore.
Bornless Ones is available via Uncorked Entertainment on Amazon Prime and Tubi among other platforms.