No (big) spoilers, I promise.
Evil Dead is here, like it or not, and it brings with it a bloody good time to be had by fans and non-fans alike. It's not right to just ask if this is a good remake or not, but is perhaps better to ask if this is a worthy remake or not. Evil Dead is in a league of its own to horror fans and it is a classic not to be fucked with. And though the remake has its weak points here and there, the bulk of the movie is a lot of fun to watch, with buckets of blood being the icing on the cake.
Now as for the characters... um, I don't care. Other reviewers have commented on how happy they were about the more developed characterization for our group of five innocents, and the back story for why the kids were at the cabin in the first place. Seriously? Who is really going to give a crap about Mia's drug addiction or her and David's dead mother when the blood starts flowing? This is Evil Dead, and therefore, I don't give a fuck. I will say though that Mia and David are the only ones who are given sufficient background (totally irrelevant to demon possession though it may be); Olivia was very cool; Eric - who is obviously supposed to be the "Scott" character - needs a haircut and a set of balls; and poor Natalie is just fodder for the demons. Seriously, she has one or two lines at the beginning of the movie and then when she shows up again about 20 minutes later, I was like, "Where'd this chick come from?"
Of course I watched this movie to see what their version of a re-imaging of the original film was but I couldn't help but hope for at least some nods to the classic, even if only real fans would have caught them. The first two were quite easy to pick up on: Mia sitting on Sam Raimi's Delta 88, wearing a Michigan State sweatshirt. There are a few other easter egg goodies spread throughout, but like another blogger said, it's more fun to find them on your own so I'll leave it at that.
Though the poster boasts that Evil Dead is "the most terrifying film you will ever experience," it's really not. I think that was just supposed to be a riff on the original's "ultimate experience in grueling terror" tagline. What the remake does offer, however, is some thinly drawn characters getting themselves all kinds of fucked up in the woods. And lots of blood. And blood vomit. And electric bread knives. See it and enjoy, and then go home and watch all the Evil Dead movies in a row. Trust me, it makes for an awesome day.
Lastly, I will say that staying for the credits is a very good idea.