When Ash (Bruce Campbell) and four of his friends decide to go and stay in the woods together for a week, they hope for a time they will never forget – and they certainly get more than they bargained for in that respect. Whilst they are all gathered around having dinner on their first night, the cellar door flies open. Ash and one of the others go to investigate and find all manner of strange things left down there by whoever was there before them. Amongst the objects found is a tape recording made by the previous inhabitant. The group listen to it, but soon turn it off when a mysterious call begins to play. However, by then it seems it was all too late, as evil spirits have been disturbed and they don’t appear to be overjoyed by such an occurrence. One by one, the demons possess each youngster until Ash is the only one left to survive the night of the evil dead.
After the huge disappointment that was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I didn’t really know how to feel about The Evil Dead when it came to sitting down and watching it. Before I had seen the first film however, I was considering not watching The Evil Dead, but that was not because I expected to be let down by it. The film was remade a couple of years ago and I watched the trailer for it. The thing that emerged from the cellar door in the remake actually scared the crap out of me. Now, considering how limp horror films that are made today can be, plus the fact it was a remake, I soon figured out that I had in fact been frightened by what was very possibly the child-friendly version, hence why I was reluctant to watch the original. However, as I say, I watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and felt like crying due to how bad it was, and thought perhaps The Evil Dead wouldn’t be as scary as I had initially thought. It turns out that I was wrong in thinking this. The demons didn’t scare me as much as I thought they would, but there were many jump scares and a few scenes that grossed me out a bit, so it delivered what was promised.
Aw, wasn’t Ash lovely? He just wanted to try and save his friends and go home and try to forget the whole experience. It was obvious from the beginning that Campbell’s character was going to be the sole survivor, but he still made Ash’s hopefulness believable. The nice thing was he made Ash very likeable, and so you were rooting for the protagonist all the way.
Something I thought was very good for the time it was made were the special effects. Each person did look very good as their respective demon. Whilst by today’s standards and the things we can do with CGI it might not look that impressive, I do think all credit is due as the make-up and everything else would’ve been landmark achievements in 1982.
All in all, I very much enjoyed The Evil Dead and would highly recommend it. Obviously all the horror fans outs there will have already seen it, but for those of out there who, like myself, need sleep and would’ve avoided such films for that reason alone, I urge you to see this. It is scary as in it will make you jump, but you will still be able to sleep afterwards.