(1981)

Critic Reviews

70

Metascore

Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Los Angeles Times
Unquestionalby it's an instant classic, probably the grisliest well-made movie ever. [26 May 1983]
83
Then the carnage comes, and when it does, it delivers on all promises and more, with a parade of gushing wounds, demonic howls, and oceans of gore which approach the line of good taste, toe it, then gleefully dance across. [22 Sept 2010]
80
Variety
While injecting considerable black humor, neophyte Detroit-based writer-director Sam Raimi maintains suspense and a nightmarish mood in between the showy outbursts of special effects gore and graphic violence which are staples of modern horror pictures.
80
Unbound by cinematic convention, Raimi unleashed his free-range camera, and ghoulish, omnipresent sound effects to create a bleak, paranoid atmosphere and a raft of sudden, effective shocks.
80
Shot on 16mm for less than $50,000, Sam Raimi's visceral debut remains a benchmark of modern horror. Plot and acting are minimal - five stooges inadvertently awaken demonic forces - but then this isn't about intellect or intricacy: it's about intensity and intestines. [1 Oct 2001]
75
The extreme nature of the gore isn't beside the point - it is the point. Raimi goes so far over the top in presenting these displays that they take on a campy, almost humorous appearance. It's impossible to take all this blood seriously. So, instead of being sickened, we're strangely amused - and this is all intentional.
75
Slant Magazine
Raimi's script is riotously deadpan, his compositions undeniably breathtaking and inventive. [6 March 2002]
70
The film is ferociously kinetic and full of visual surprises, though its gut-churning reputation doesn't seem fully deserved: if anything the gore is too picturesque and studied, an abstract decorator's mix of oozing, slimy color, like some exotic species of new-wave interior design.
50
Boston Globe
Although idiotic, The Evil Dead at least is propelled by energy and enthusiasm. It's scarier than many a more pretentious effort, and not everything in it is borrowed. [8 Oct 1983, p.Arts1]
25
Philadelphia Inquirer
Too bad it's hog-tied by a ridiculously familiar plot, uneven direction and characters of such dizzying simplicity that you wish the demons would get to them just to smack some sense into their heads. [26 Sept 1983, p.D3]

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