Saturday, February 18, 2006

The 'Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror?' Define 'horror'...

The Evil Dead centers around Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his four friends from college, who go off to a cabin in the middle of the Tennesse woods, where they accidentally find an ancient spell book and release body-posessing demons. One by one, they're possessed and attack the remaining friends.

Uh, so yeah. This is not the most original horror movie, by any means. This storyline's been done over and over again, and the 'cabin in the woods' plot has been done a lot too. I wouldn't be surprised if the Blair Witch creators hadn't gotten at least some inspiration from this movie. The demons themselves aren't all that scary and seemed more comical, as if Rami was attempting to spoof the horror genre. The 'tree rape' scene was unique, and a little disturbing. The demon's cackling was more annoying than scary--I was cheering for Ash to shut her up asap. Most of the actions the friends take throughout the movie echo the generic horror movie conventions--'let's play with the demonic books even though they'll enevitably end up killing us all horribly' and the like. Why Ash would stick his hand in the liquid mirror when he's being chased by demons is beyond me, but it was a cool effect that The Matrix improved on. Also, Ash really needs to start looking out for bookcases. He's thrown into--and then trapped under--bookcases at least twice in the movie.

It's not the best produced movie either, though the effects--for the budget they had--could've been a lot worse. The demon make-up is good enough, and I will say the shots from the demon's P.O.V. do work well, so the way the film's shot is pretty good. The acting's not that great either, which is probably obvious, since the only actor in this to have a career at all is Bruce Campbell. Effects wise, this is definitely an 80's movie.

Though this isn't the most original or best horror movie I've ever seen, it's not the worst either. There is a comical aspect to it, intentionally or not. This is the first in a trilogy of movies starring Bruce Campbell as Ash--continued with Evil Dead II, which i've heard is mostly a remake of the first one, and Army of Darkness, which has Ash going back to Medival Times. I've seen Army and thought it worked much the same as Evil Dead--not so much horrific (well, not in the intended sense) but more comedic. Overall, I'd say Evil Dead's ok--the movie you'd want to see if you have nothing better to do for an hour and a half and are ready to see a movie that shouldn't be taken seriously, because if you do, you probably won't enjoy it at all. If you don't, the movie's kinda fun and good for a laugh.


Vladigogo said...

And of course let's not forget this is the movie made by the guy who would eventually make Spiderman and Spiderman 2. One thing that came from this film is the shaky cam, which Raimi perfected, and has been used countlessly by others, including the Coen Bros. In addition, I think it was Joel Coen was one of the co-editors for THE EVIL DEAD and later the Coen Bros. and Sam Raimi would co-write THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, one of the worst Coen Bros. films.

He would also attempt to remake the Coen Bros. classis film Fargo but not to much success.

Brian said...

Yeah, it's obvious Rami's come a long way from here to the Spider-man films, which i thought were pretty good. Of course, Rami also had a better cast, effects, budget, etc for those movies.

i've never even heard of HUDSUCKER PROXY or the FARGO remake, so I guess those were pretty bad.