The Evil Dead
Published October 24, 2022
- Title The Evil Dead
- Director Sam Raimi
- Year 1981
- Run time 1hr 25m
- Genre Horror
- Tagline The ultimate experience in gruelling terror
The nominal plot involves five vacationing college kids - Ash, his girlfriend Linda, and their classmates Cheryl, Scott and Shelly - making an unplanned stopover in an abandoned mountain cabin surrounded by impenetrable woods. Before settling in for the night, they come across an ancient-looking occult tome filled with dense hieroglyphics and macabre illustrations, a dagger fashioned from human bones, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The taped message, dictated by a professor of archaeology, describes the contents of the Sumerian 'Book of the Dead', filled with incantations used to bring otherworldly demons to life, giving them license to possess the living.
|2:02||“Don’t blame me, it was your steering wheel.”|
|4:01||I like the trees hitting the camera on the way down as well.|
|9:58||No thank you, no basements.|
|13:48||Squeakiest door ever.|
|18:24||Yep, act like the woman is hysterical, sure.|
|20:48||Worried about this pair. You can’t be hugely in love and both survive to the end, surely.|
|29:07||I’m sorry, what just happened in the forest?|
|34:44||Dude just walks in casually with an axe.|
|37:24||How can she possibly sleep right now?|
|43:54||This is all pretty noisy, if I’m honest.|
|48:24||Turns out, Scott’s a bit of an asshole.|
|58:53||I knew the happy couple might not make it but I couldn’t have predicted the chainsaw.|
|1:07:50||“Shut up, Linda.”|
|1:11:09||After everything he’s been through, his biggest scream is because he could put his hand in the mirror?|
|1:16:32||Oh yea, bring out the old stop motion effect.|
This is the movie that launched Sam Raimi’s career, and it got plenty of mentions in the behind the scenes of the recent Dr Strange - there were lots of references to this film in that one, particularly as it had taken a darker turn. With it being Halloween this week, and as Evil Dead was free on iPlayer, I figured I’d give it a watch.
It was… an experience.
It’s low budget and that’s fine. I mean, honestly in places it looks like it had the same budget as the film being made in the first series of Dawson’s Creek. But that constraint brings out the best in some filmmakers and you can see moments of genius in this. The first half an hour was great, making tension and paranoia out of essentially nothing.
But there are odd choices too. Clearly there’s no love lost for women in this movie. What does the tree-rape scene add to anything? Why are the demonic women so screechy and irritating? The noise was less scary and more annoying so I just wanted them to be dead already.
I’d be hating it and about to switch off and then a moment like the blood coming out of the electric sockets would catch my attention and make me stick with it. But ultimately, cult classic or not, I wish I hadn’t bothered.
Rating: 2 / 5