THE EVIL DEAD (1981) – Review

They got up on the wrong side of the grave.

Sam Rami‘s THE EVIL DEAD (1981) – In light of the new EVIL DEAD (2013) trailer, I had to check out the original film. The Evil Dead (1981) is one of the few defining horror films of its genre. Writer and director Raimi was able to, on a mere budget of around $400,000, scare the living daylights out of you. The film host amazing camera angles that became one of the trademarks of the Evil Dead series of films–as well as for the exceptional gore factor. Using whatever materials the crew had on hand, director Sam Raimi managed to create an atmosphere of true terror and unbelievable malice that continues to haunt and strangely delight audiences to this very day.THE EVIL DEAD 1981 movie poster

The original film goes like this–a group of five Michigan State students decides to head off into the boonies of Tennessee for spring break. They plan to spend their break in an isolated cabin located in the middle of the woods. Upon examining the cabin, they discover a Sumerian version of the Book of the Dead alongside a tape recorder with a voice citing incantations from the book. Soon after this is done, horrifying demons known as the Deadites begin to kill off the students one by one in completely messed up ways. Ashley Williams (Bruce Campbell) must survive the most grueling night of his life as he endures both physical and psychological torture.

The Evil Dead is not a film for the squeamish–blood flows like water for the remainder of the film. The “tree scene” is perhaps one of the most disturbing scenes in film history and is an introduction to what will unfold throughout the film. In this film, Ash doesn’t get to dish out his iconic one-liners–but is immediately achieves the status as the anti-hero in the Evil Dead series. The other characters in the film seemed realistic enough as college students who just want to enjoy their break when some scary shit begins to happen. You have to love all the cheesy special effects and terrible acting. But this is what makes this film an amazing one of a kind horror.

The setting of the film is another fantastic element that makes the film so iconic–a lonely cabin deep in the woods–it screams horror and it is very easy to spot where this film has influenced modern horror films, Cabin in the Woods is one of many examples. Usually, remakes of cult classics aren’t well received. However, Bruce Campbell is excited about the latest Evil Dead (2013) remake project. Only time will tell of the remake will be as popular (or as good) as the original film.

Highly recommend. 

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • Spectacular

  • EVIL
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  • Last modified: 2015-04-23

Review Summary:

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

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