*Slight spoilers are ahead my friends, family, and people I couldn’t care less about*
Ah, The Evil Dead series. Classic horror movies made by the same guy who directed the first two Spider-man movies and Oz the Great and Powerful. If you’re any kind of movie buff you’ve at least heard of them. You’re pretty sure it takes place in a cabin in the woods (which is another fantastic movie, by the way.) You’re also pretty sure the main character has a large chin, a chainsaw for a right hand, and a shotgun he calls his “Boomstick.” Well, you’re wrong about the last two. Those happen later.
I own all three of the originals and have watched them countless times and will continue to do so and love them. I laugh at the “dueling” commentaries by Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi where they make fun of each other and joke about how scenes were done. The documentaries are great and the Evil Dead universe in general is awesome.
The first one in the series was released in 1981 after a hellishly long production and was luckily noticed and gained and continues to gain legions of fans. It’s considered today to be one of the greatest horror movies and I think that’s a very fair claim. Although the production quality is (understandably) bad, and the (over) acting can be laughable at times, you can just see the passion that went into making it.
In 1987, the sequel was released. In The Evil Dead II poor Ash isn’t out of the nightmare yet. This one seems to tackle of a lot of things that were just too expensive for the first movie. It kind of serves as both a remake and a sequel if you look at it the right way. It’s a more visual heavy movie and it’s filled with a lot more humor…
…especially this scene.
I’ll go ahead and give it a 8/10 as well.
Finally, in 1992 we reach the one I’ve watched the most times: The Army of Darkness. In this gem, our hero gets transported back in time to the middle ages. This is the one most people will look to for the humor and the Ash character. It’s a very imaginative and again, very visual film. it’s absolutely hilarious and is a very quotable movie.
This one gets a 9/10 because it’s just so awesome.
After years and years and years of this franchise expanding beyond films into comic books, toys, and video games, word came ’round that it was being remade. A lot of people, including myself, were not happy about this news. We didn’t want our beloved cult classic to be tainted by the Hollywood snakes by loading it up with talentless eye candy actors, CGI, awful music, and of course, as is such with a lot of horror movies today, bad writing.
Finally, in 2013, we got it. The Evil Dead.
What we got was something I never saw coming: A movie backed by the original creators including Ash himself, Bruce Campbell. To make things better, the film employed very little CGI save for touch ups and necessary effects that couldn’t be done in a convincing practical way.
This entry, very much unlike it’s predecessors, has little to no humor whatsoever in it aside from maybe some of the things the deadites say and is a very straightforward horror film. I think that while I and others may have been expecting maybe some humor, I think the fresh and more serious take helped the movie be as great as it is.
The casting (something I was afraid of) was surprisingly well done and although I haven’t seen any of them in anything that I can remember, they did great especially the main girl, Jane Levy as Mia.
The story is slightly different and instead of a lighthearted getaway, the trip to the cabin in the woods is intended to help one of their friends get over a severe drug addiction..which works marvelously to the plot in that they write off her behavior as drug withdrawal. Still present is the stupid guy who for whatever reason decides to open a book bound in human skin with satanic-looking scribbles inside it and as even smarter decision, decides to read from it despite a literally explicit warning to LEAVE THE BOOK ALONE! But, alas, horror movie.
The movie is actually frightening and there was a particular instance that gave me a genuine chill down my spine…even though I knew it was coming and dreaded it the whole movie along with one or two genuine cringes at the brutality. Also unlike most horror movies today, I actually cared for the characters. It’s also pretty brutal. I like my gore films and I think that if you do too, you’ll be satisfied by it. There are plenty of homages to the original series and it’s fun to make a game out of it and try to spot them all.
I think I’ll go ahead and give it a 9/10. Just wow. One of the best horror movies I’ve seen lately and ever.
So yeah, kids, I say go on and watch them. All of them. Each one is great in it’s own way.