Day two of our month long Halloween countdown
continues with a Sam Raimi classic.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Bruce Campbell as Ash

Written and directed by Sam Raimi

Complete information is available from the
IMDB
.

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past movie reviews can be found here.

Premise

Ash and four others retreat to a cabin in the woods,
where the spirits
of demons begin to possess them.

High Point

Ash ignores the “dismemberment” advice.

Low Point

A trail? Not only one close enough for Scotty to get
back so fast,
but one that can magically undo the incredibly long
drive they had on
the way in? How is this a way out?

The Scores

This isn’t very original. It’s a pretty
standard 1980s slasher,
with loads of gore. I give it 2 out of 6.

The effects are mainly make-up effects. The
only other
special effects are right at the end, with the
decaying corpses, which
look pretty bad. The make-up effects have pretty
fake-looking human
bodies and limbs, and wildly inconsistent fake blood.
I give it 3 out
of 6.

The story is very simple. That’s a hallmark
of the genre,
though, so I won’t penalize them too badly. I give
it 3 out of 6.

The acting is pretty poor as well. These
people were
inexperienced, and untrained. They’re cheesy,
they’re overacting, and
the only emotion they can seem to manage is fear,
which makes the
early part of the film pretty dry. I give it 2 out
of 6.

The emotional response is good, despite the
above problems.
Some of that is a bit of creepiness, but mostly, it’s
interest at
seeing what Raimi could put together with the limited
resources
available. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is actually very respectable
considering the
limitations on the director. The opening shot across
the water, the
ground-hugging camera motion, the close-ups on the
eyes, and the
“upside down and over the head” shot all stand out as
very stylistic
moments to give a bit of flavour where others would
give up and say
they couldn’t do anything interesting with the
resources at hand. My
only complaint was the lack of natural lighting,
which I consider
essential to a horror flick, especially when trying
to build tension
around a character who is using a lantern to light
the way. I give it
4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s interesting to watch in a
“where were they
then” mood, or as a preface to the sequels. I
wouldn’t watch it in a
“bad movie” mood as I would an Ed Wood or Roger
Cormen movie, simply
because this feels like a competent director with no
resources,
instead of an incompetent director who doesn’t know
any better. I
give it 4 out of 6.

In total, The Evil Dead receives 22 out of
42.

Halloween Countdown to date