Evil Dead 2 (DVD)

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Evil Dead 2 (DVD)

In this sequel-remake of the original EVIL DEAD, a group of people are trapped in a cabin while ancient evil lurks outside and threatens a fate worse ...

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Review of "Evil Dead 2 (DVD)"

published 27/02/2005 | 3rdRockSatan
Member since : 08/05/2001
Reviews : 181
Members who trust : 59
About me :
Super
Pro Horror at its funniest | Good scares | Bruce at his best
Cons Other cast not so good | Not a true sequel
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"Kiss Your Nerves Goodbye"

The Evil Dead series certainly does have a big place in every horror lover’s heart. As camp as they are scary and with a superb star to head them out they are favourites in pretty much every horror movie fans collection. It also shows just how versatile Raimi is as a director. From all out-gore to superhero escapades he certainly knows how to do things well.

It’s not really accurate to call this a sequel. This is more of a remake of the original and is basically what Evil Dead would have been if Raimi had the budget for it. Thanks to the success of the original Raimi really did let loose on this film and gave it all he had which isn’t surprising seeing as it was rumoured his career was in freefall at the time. Ash (Bruce Campbell) decides to treat his girlfriend to a nice few days in a run down cabin in some remote woods because obviously he hasn’t heard of cheap motels. Alas, it would seem their idyllic retreat is about to be gate-crashed by the evil spirits of the woods as Ash unwittingly unleashes all kinds of hell. Soon Ash is not only battling his own sanity but also a whole wood of evil and walking dead that seem to stop at nothing to send him to an early grave. It’s up to him and a few gatechrashers to try and send the evil back to its own dimension but that sure as hell won’t be easy.

While the film certainly follows the blueprint of the first to sometimes exact replications there are a few notable differences. The film is a lot funnier than the original. The first film wasn’t intentionally funny though it would be hard to call it a serious horror flick. This time though humour is rife throughout the flick. Much of the film is devoted to Ash slowly losing his grip on reality as well as trying to fend off his possessed hand. There are a few sight gags but the humour is really more in-your-face thanks to the over the top style the film adopts.

Gore also plays a big part in this film which isn’t surprising looking at its predecessor. Things are wound up a notch in terms of sheer absurdity of the violence and blood shed. We have headless dead people wielding chainsaws, a house that seems to hold ten tonnes of blood and decapitations a-plenty. The effects are a bag of good fake and laughably fake but the laughable ones just add to the whole sense of fun the film possesses, having the gore look real just wouldn’t work in this film. That said the effects are an improvement over the original thanks to the bigger budget and looks a whole lot better for it. Even the deadites look spruced up and a lot more icky than before. While there is an abundance of violence it does seem to have been toned down somewhat from the original probably to avoid an NC-17 rating in the states so as to get a bigger audience packed in the cinemas. There is no ‘tree rape’ scene to make you shift uncomfortably, indeed this version is just a lot more violent but cuts away at the most intense moment. Those who winced at the pencil being drove through ankles in the first film will also find nothing like this here. It’ll save on anyone feeling noxious but those who wanted a full on violent massacre will do well to note that things are tamer. That said its still miles ahead in terms of all out over the top gore than any film around at the time and even today.

Raimi puts his directional skills to full effect on this film. The much loved camera trick of knocking down doors and smashing through windows is used here, some would say a bit too much, to even bigger effect. The claustrophobic feel of the cabin is superbly realized via a chase of Ash through its (quite many) twists and turns in forever keeping close to the character. He also knows how to mix humour and horror well. While this isn’t as nerve wracking as the first film there are still plenty of shocks to make you jump a bit, though people who have seen the first film will be able to see a few pieces coming a mile off. Tension is provided in a few cases when the camera slowly closes up on a door creaking open leaving you wandering what the hapless people are going to find inside. Raimi also never really lets up in terms of having something going on. You are whisked away on a none stop horror ride that keeps flinging bits of blood and dead bits at you at a relentless pace. Sometimes feeling disjointed but for the most part this works well.

As gore-infested and entertaining as the film is, the film does lose its way at some points. The first segment of the film is a good laugh, there’s no doubt about that and shows why Bruce Campbell is loved as a cult horror icon. However there’s a whole lot of the slapstick humour, no doubt forming from Raimi’s love of the Three Stooges, that can seem to be drawn out a bit too much at times and you just wish the film would hurry things along a little bit and get on with the story at hand. That said when it does get moved along with the inclusion of the merry band of new people it doesn’t really add too much. As characters they’re unlikeable and they also do some pretty dumb things such as blatantly running off into the woods alone which isn’t something even the dumbest people would do. In the first film it was Ash and his buddies in this one it’s Ash and some random annoyances. Also the fact that this really is just a remake will disappoint some people in wanting an advancement on the series but if they want that they are catered for in third instalment, Army of Darkness. That said these things don’t really bring the film down too much and any horror fan will get a kick out of it despite these faults.

The lack of any real talent in the casting is saved by Campbell. This is pretty much his own film to show off just what he can do and to put his mark on the horror genre today. Campbell portrays Ash as a sort of unwilling hero. While he’s still slightly wimpy and not all that bright he can also turn about face and deliver some punishment to the evil things that surround him. Seeing as he has the first half to carry the film pretty much on his own he really does do a good job and it really wouldn’t have worked if we had someone not willing to put themselves out like the way he does. We also get to hear some of his now famous one liners ‘groovy’, ‘swallow this’ etc are all well remembered and often quoted favourites that have been referenced in other forms of media. The other characters are just there to edge the story on a little bit and are almost all uniformly bad. However the bad acting is a sort of advantage to the film as it adds to the humour of it all.

Evil Dead 2 may be dismissed as too funny by some of the fans of the series and it’s certainly not as dark as the original but it does deliver both laughs, scares and gore on high levels which is not always something a horror movie can get right. This, along with the other films in the series, still stand out today as true horror classics that people from all generations seem to love. While the horror genre can try and take itself seriously and fail, Evil Dead 2 manages to make a great parody and succeeds on other levels too. Entertaining throughout this is one horror film not to leave to rest.


EVIL DEAD 2 IS

Very gorey
Highly amusing
A film for Bruce Campbell lovers

EVIL DEAD 2 IS NOT

A true sequel
As scary as the original
A film with a stella cast

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Comments on this review

  • ragamuffin2005 published 11/04/2005
    i love this film, have the dvd box set, good review, luke
  • ukedge87 published 24/03/2005
    The first one scared me so much. Pete
  • clownfoot published 15/03/2005
    It's a work of genius and is NOT a remake. The first ten minutes recap what happened in the original (minus three characters) and everything from the point where Bruce is flung through the trees is fresh and new with no association to the original!! A work of genius I tells ya! alboy
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Product Information : Evil Dead 2 (DVD)

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In this sequel-remake of the original EVIL DEAD, a group of people are trapped in a cabin while ancient evil lurks outside and threatens a fate worse than death. Can brawny wiseguy Ash save the day, or will his dead girlfriend come back to cause more trouble

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Listed on Ciao since: 29/01/2001