Classics: The Evil Dead (1981) A Review

A total 80s Horror classic that I am ashamed to say I took 30 years to watch.  So, lets all sit down and laugh about the effects together


DIRECTOR:  Sam Raimi

STARRING:  Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor 


GENRE:  Thriller

RUNTIME:  85 Minutes

★★★ 3.5 Stars  

Well as Classic horror movies go, this one is way up there. You can’t read a ‘Must See Horror’ list without running head first into ‘The Evil Dead’.  And as a fan of horror films, I was really excited to finally get around to this one.  To me though it was just more of the same.  I have seen a great deal of 80s horror films, and while they are all charming for their own reasons, this just isn’t a stand out for me.

A group of friends rent a beat up cabin in the woods for a weekend.  After a series of strange occurrences, they find themselves in the cellar, and come across a book, bound in human skin and a set of recordings from the last person who lived in the cabin.  From there it just goes nuts.  People are possessed.  There are zombies.  Someone gets sexually assaulted by a tree!!  Its all the high jinx you would expect in an eighties horror movie, with the terrible graphics to boot.  

What can I say about this film that hasn’t already been said a hundred times.  For the time it came out I am sure it was revolutionary.  And it is only over time, and the injection of SO MANY movies that follow this same exact premise, that the shine has worn off it.

People who love eighties horror, don’t go to the films for the critical acclaim.  They go for the often melodramatic, or down right terrible acting, (which this film has in spades.)  The laughable special effects of the day (check), the cheesy soundtrack (double check.) And the wide range of trope that films of the time followed religiously (check, check check.)  So if we are judging Evil Dead by these standards, and as a fan of 80s horror films, then it ticks all the right boxes.  If we try and judge it by the standards of films of today, of course it will fail 

A good classic to have a giggle at, but not my favourite classic horror by a long way.

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