Sunday, October 28, 2018

Movie Review: "The Evil Dead" (1981)

Director: Sam Raimi
Year: 1981
Rating: NC-17
Running Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

A group of college kids heads to a secluded cabin for a weekend of fun and relaxation. However, the cabin is surrounded by evil forces. When the group inadvertently plays a tape that has a demon incantation from 'The Book of the Dead,' it unleashes the book's evil upon them.

The Evil Dead 1981 movie still Sam Raimi Bruce Campbell
"The first few pages warn that these enduring creatures may lie dormant but are never truly dead." (Image Source)
If you ever find a book made out of human flesh, it's probably best to leave it alone. "The Evil Dead" is written and directed by Sam Raimi, who would go on to direct films like "Spider-Man," "Dark Man," and "Drag Me to Hell." Like most horror movies, the story revolves around a group of college kids heading off to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun. What they don't know is that an evil force exists in the woods surrounding this cabin. This force leads the young adults to a tape recorder and 'The Book of the Dead,' which is bound in human flesh and is inked in human blood. Casual weekend, right? When the co-eds play the tape, it happens to contain a little tiny demon incantation from the book that allows the evil to materialize, which in turn possesses the group one by one.
The Evil Dead 1981 movie still Sam Raimi Bruce Campbell
"You bastards, why are you torturing me like this? Why?" (Image Source)
"The Evil Dead" is one of the rare cases where its sequel is far more popular than the original. This may be because "Evil Dead II" is a cult classic and is a comedic remake of this movie. That being said, there's still a lot to love about this more horror-centric NC-17 version of what is basically the same story. This film looks fantastic despite how long it took to shoot and how low its budget was. It contains some terrifying imagery and plenty of blood, goo, and all sorts of other things that ooze for fans of gross-out gore. It is graphically violent and has palpable amounts of tension. There are still some comedic elements here, though they are fewer and much darker than in the sequels. We are huge fans of the unique perspectives and low camera angles used in creating this film, both of which would go on to become signature features of Sam Raimi's directorial style. All of this is amazing on its own, but then you have to add the marvel that is Bruce freakin' Campbell into the mix, and it launches this fright-fest into a whole different dimension of good.
"Did something in the woods do this to you?" (Image Source)
Though it does get overshadowed by its more popular little brother, "The Evil Dead" is totally worth love and support.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.5/10
RT Rating: 95%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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