Review: Evil Dead II (1987)

evil-dead-2-crazy-ash-27

Ash is back, and still in the same cabin, hmmm…

Written By: Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel
Directed By: Sam Raimi

It’s six years later and your friendly neighborhood demon killer is back in the form of Ash. How does he fare in his demon battling ways this time around? Right off the bat I was struck by a feeling of deja vu, I knew that cabin, I knew the car ride to that cabin, I knew where the story was going. Admittedly this is a staple of horror movies, going to the well more than once, but in Evil Dead II it particularly bothered me. I never got the sense I was watching something fresh, Evil Dead II felt like a rehash of The Evil Dead, at times I was able to forget this but on more than one occasion I was struck by the feeling that I had been there and done that.

The above was a very big hurdle and it did hold the movie back a lot, but it didn’t ruin the movie. Evil Dead II is still a lot of fun. It is over the top in every way imaginable, and it revels in being over the top. Whether we are talking camera angles, blood splattering, or demon bodies, Evil Dead II wants to assault your senses and it does so repeatedly. This helps to add to the fun atmosphere of Evil Dead II, this isn’t your typical gloomy horror movie, it’s more of a comedy horror, but it isn’t trying to be funny, it just is. There’s a sense of ease behind the film making, you can tell that Raimi and company aren’t trying to create a cult classic, they want to make a movie they would enjoy and the great aspects come to the forefront because of that desire.

The whole of Evil Dead II has a dirty and raw look to it. That makes sense because Evil Dead II is a very raw movie, it doesn’t feel in any way like it is a studio movie, it feels like a grimy movie made using a lot of credit cards and savings account money. But, there are still moments of brilliance found in the script, the acting and in the camera lens. One moment is when Ash is in the shed and blood splatters upward and covers the light bulb, thus rendering the shed in red hues. Small moments like that are brilliant from a cinematic perspective and show the flash Sam Raimi has as a filmmaker and how despite it’s raw feel Evil Dead II is a well made movie by professionals.

Who can’t love a sequence like Ash versus his own hand? I’m not one of the soulless bastards who didn’t like that scene, are you? Evil Dead II isn’t high cinema, but since when did a movie have to be high cinema to be worth anything? Evil Dead II is a fun movie with lots of cool touches and tackles the horror genre in an interesting way. It’s debatable over whether Evil Dead II is better than The Evil Dead, but I preferred it, Evil Dead II is certainly a movie worth your time and if you liked The Evil Dead then you should like Evil Dead II.

Rating:

***

Cheers,
Bill

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2 responses to “Review: Evil Dead II (1987)

  1. I´ve just watched this after 20 years, and now noticed some homages payed due to other cult movies.

    Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Adams Family, Poltergheist are among them :)

    Cheers

  2. It doesn’t surprise me, Raimi is a big horror fan himself.

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