The Evil Dead (1981)

Pros
  • Campy in a great way and perfectly silly, Sam Raimi is a horror God!
  • Camera work is involving and unique, it's awesome seeing POV shots coming from the demons, close up shots of characters eyes, outside forces watching them, etc
  • Simple yet effective story....awakening ancient evil and being trapped inside of a cabin in the woods, forced to fight off demons
  • The voice of the demons is terrifying and unforgettable
  • The Book of the Dead!
  • The movie gives us one of the greatest horror heroes of all time (though it isn't until the sequence that he truly shines, Ash!
  • "Join Us"
  • Sam Raimi does a great job creating a sense of isolation and trepidation from being trapped inside of the cabin
  • One of the best "cabin in the woods" movies of all time, it certainly sparked the start of the genre
  • Constant mayhem, the movie is always out of control and hectic, it's unrelenting!
  • The trapped demon in the basement is consistently scary and entertaining if not one of the most memorable images from the series
  • The claymation looks fantastic, something you hardly see these days, this is part of what makes the movie so amazing (the practical effects)
  • This is the type of movie that gives it's 'villain(s)' a voice and personality (kind of like A Nightmare On Elm Street), it adds to the shocking experience
  • This might be the ultimate cult classic movie!

Cons
  • Acting is not good to say the least.....however that may add to the movies' authenticity?!
  • Might be too campy for most people's taste
  • The movie has aged just a bit (I don't mind, however, I feel it sort of adds to the authenticity of the film)
  • Tree rape scene might be a bit too much (one of the most controversial scenes in movie history)

Score: 9/10

Sam Raimi has created a cult classic that has stood the test of time, The Evil Dead is a horror classic. The first of the three in Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy, The Evil Dead is campy, silly, and all around a gruesome thrill ride worthy of its cult status. It's hard to not admire the film, you can clearly tell what Raimi was going for, the limited budget and inexperience definitely shows, but that only adds to the overall charm of the film. A group of unsuspecting 20 something-year-olds unleash an ancient evil and have to fend off the foe for the sake of their souls. As the movie moves along, the tone goes from being creepy to downright chaotic as the demons taunt and torment the remaining survivors. It's hard not to laugh at the silly antics of the possessed, as well as the campy dialogue coming from most characters. But like I said, all of those silly aspects of the film only adds to the overall effect of the film, which couldn't be any more entertaining. The movie may be too campy for most people's taste, this is a movie that must be seen by any true horror fan or anyone who has a taste for extremely low budget films.

It isn't until the sequel Evil Dead 2, which was made 6 years later that our hero Ash truly takes form, but this sets the stage for that. The Evil Dead may be over the top, unrelenting, and silly, but the movie is never dull nor entertaining! This is one of the best horror movies of all time, bar none!

The Evil Dead (1981) on IMDb

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