The Evil Dead (1981) Poster

(1981)

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You don't need a big budget to make an accomplished film
ametaphysicalshark11 May 2007
Sam Raimi's feature length debut "The Evil Dead" is truly one of the greatest horror films of all time and the start of a magnificently entertaining trilogy of hilarity and some real scares. Made on a budget of only $375,000, the film is surprisingly accomplished on a technical level. The effects, although they do look fake by today's standards, hold up a lot better than you might have expected, and the stop motion sequence at the end, which looks a lot faker than anything else in the movie, was accomplished for its time and budget.

"The Evil Dead" is about a group of young adults who travel to a cabin in the woods and discover a 'book of the dead'. No prizes for guessing what happens next as each character is possessed (except for Ash) and disposed of via an intriguing variety of methods. Considering its budget, unknown director (at the time), and typical slasher plot "The Evil Dead" would almost certainly seem headed towards forgotten B-movie status, and yet it has stood the test of time and remains one of the most widely acclaimed horror films of all time. Why? It's simple. Although "The Evil Dead" is nowhere near as funny as its sequels, it's still a humorous self-satire while also being terrifying despite its age. This odd combination (only perfected in this film's sequels and "Creepshow") works because Raimi crafts a tense and moody environment, puts his characters in there, and then ruthlessly disposes of them, sometimes doing so several times for the same character. What's worse is that there's nowhere to go. Raimi creates a claustrophobic feeling in anyone watching, he wants you to think about being in a situation where you're trapped with nothing but death and destruction surrounding you. For most people, he probably succeeds. As far as acting goes, none of it is really very good but Bruce Campbell is instantly likable as Ash, who just has to be one of the most memorable horror film characters of all time.

Gory, desolate, hopeless, and still funny, "The Evil Dead" is a horror masterpiece that isn't quite the strongest entry in the series, but is shockingly accomplished and entertaining despite its low budget and inexperienced cast and crew. This is a film everyone must see, along with its sequels.

9/10
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10/10
Marvelously putrid.
Manthorpe16 August 2004
What more can be said of Raimi's legendary cult-classic that hasn't already been beaten to death like a puss-oozing zombie that crosses paths with Ash? Possibly nothing, but I'll try.

Before Spiderman and before the countless spin-offs of this movie were made or even conceived, Raimi and friends decided to make a low budget zombie flick mainly for fun, and surprisingly it has become a masterpiece of shock and horror. Possibly a perfect example of how to make an entertaining film on a shoe-string budget, The Evil Dead delivers what it promises, the ultimate in grueling horror. Even with it's mild budget and sometimes shaky acting, TED shocks and spooks the audience through chilling atmosphere and some of the most violent effects ever put on film. Those who are squeamish need not apply. As a matter of fact, just run for your girly life.

There are several reasons this film succeeds. First, Raimi's camera work is truly masterful. By using fast camera work and aggressive shots, Raimi has created an eerie world that is sometimes hard to look at but too entertaining to turn away from. His style from behind the camera is absolutely unmistakable. This is perfectly exemplified in the beginning of the film, where the camera alone creates enough atmosphere to leave you biting your nails in suspense of what's to come. You feel at any moment someone is going to get their neck chomped on by some zombie hiding just out of view. One of the most impressive openings I can think of, perfection in pacing and atmosphere. It gets even better once the action starts. Some shots hold for a seeming eternity, and part of you wishes for it to stop for it's unrestrained gore and violence...but the other part of you is getting a sick kick out of it. One of the most impressive shots is where the darkness from the trees begins to chase people, knocking any tree or obstacle down that happens to be in it's way. Truly magnificent technique, however they did it.

TED also succeeds because it's self-aware of the fact that it's a simple zombie movie and never takes itself too seriously, and doesn't expect the audience to do so either. It's meant to be campy, cheesy, revolting and chilling at the same time. There are moments in the film where it seems to be making fun of itself and the genre in general. For this fact alone, one cannot hold certain things against it such as sometimes questionable acting from the supporting cast and sometimes the downright implausibility of certain situations. If you can accept this and you're not put off by mannequin ultra-violence, then you should find yourself on the supporter's side of the fence. I think some don't like it because it can be ridiculous and cheesy in parts, although it was meant to be. Even with the fact that it's sometimes cheesy, there are some downright chilling moments in this film that most horror films nowadays cannot begin to muster. Case in point, the zombie screaming from the cellar door. The zombie growls and howls themselves are enough to send shivers up one's spine. And let's not forget the unforgettable tree love scene, ridiculous and hilarious simultaneously.

Last but certainly not least: Bruce Campbell as Ash, the badass of all zombie films. Campbell is Ash, period, and always will be.

In my opinion, this is by far the best of the trilogy, and although there could have been more of the chainsaw, this is the definitive zombie film and probably always will be. I feel it succeeds over it's sequels due to it's increased violence and lack of humor in comparison. It's blood, gore, camera work, and shock factor are still formidable even today and are what make this such a cult classic. If you've ever liked any horror film, this is an absolute must-see.

Love or hate it, there it is.
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10/10
The ultimate in terror
baumer10 July 1999
It's the early 80's, what do you expect? This is a scary scary film. And I think I know why films now a days can't hold a candle to films like Halloween and Evil Dead. And that is because a photo copy is never as good as the original. That is the bottom line. Directors don't care about a lot of the material that they are filming today, especially when it comes to horror films and that is because they don't write their own stories. They do someone elses work. But not Evil Dead. This was Raimi's baby from the outset. When films like the two mentioned were filmed they were filmed by two directors that were complete unknowns. They had no pressure to make a great film and they did it on an incredibly low budget. Halloween was made for $150,000 and Evil Dead for $50 000. So what that meant is that the directors could stick to their visions but they had to find innovative ways to do so. Their budgets didn't allow a heap of special effects so they had to rely on what they knew. And that was, how to create atmosphere using the camera. And Evil Dead is one of the best at doing that. There is one scene in this film that I will never forget and that is one of the early scenes where the cast arrives at the cabin. Here we see a long shot of the cabin and it has very eerie music playing. This shows the cabin as being menacing. It lets you know that there is evil in that cabin. And that we are in for a hell of a ride.

Sam Raimi made a masterpiece here that I believe stands the test of time. You can put this film up against any of today's so called horror films and I guarantee you this scares you more. Raimi cares about his movie and he does everything to make you feel the terror that the cabin people feel. We are scared and disgusted at what happens when one of the women goes outside alone at night and meets a tree that does unspeakable things. And when the book is first introduced.... that is horror movie history there. What a brilliant concept. A book that is evil. I have often wondered about such books. We hear about them all the time in movies about ancient Egypt and ancient times. But here we have a book that has weird incantations from another world and another language, and you just know that as soon as some idiot utters the words that they are not supposed to say, well they won't be around much longer.

The Evil Dead is a miracle. It was made on a rock bottom budget yet it is scarier than any Hollywood movie that is made for 20 million could ever hope to be. If you want to truly experience a frightening experience, rent this film, it knows what it wants to say. And it knows how to make you afraid. So be afraid. Be very afraid. You may never look at the forest the same again.
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9/10
A marvel what some college film students can do on a shoestring budget
KUAlum2631 October 2009
SPOILER(S) POSSIBLE

The first ever full-on film project by budding filmmakers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert(then called Bobby Tapert)would prove to be a work of endurance and love and also one of the more entertaining horror films made in the eighties.

The plot is painfully simple: Five young adults from Michigan drive off into the woods for a camping vacation,using a seldom-used cabin as their haunt. They uncover a tape recorder and a crusty,dusty and blood-and-flesh-coated "Book of the Dead" or "Necromonicon",inadvertently incant the chant that awakes a limitless supply of malevolent spirits in the woods,and then one by one get picked off until a lone survivor is left to fight to escape. The story isn't much of an accomplishment:it's the whole physical undertaking that's the real accomplishment.

On a small budget that was probably getting smaller as the shoot continued(I don't know the exact amount of time of filming,but it probably lasted at least a year),the filmmakers and stars(all of 'em,most famously budding star Bruce Campbell as the conflicted but can-do Ash)had to make the most of a limited set,claustrophobic settings,gallons of viscous fluids,endless supplies of cakey make-up,a limited amount of lighting(probably NOT an accident,there) and probably a mass-produced amount of fog to create something that has both the feel of a creepily eerie film about the undead and yet had the effects to back up the type of slasher horror pic that the producers were aiming for.

The first of an intriguing trio of horror/comedy films that Raimi,Tapert,Campbell and company would crank out over a period of just under fifteen years(and,after seeing this film in full,I'm not sure if anyone involved originally intended to make any sequels),the atmosphere and noticeably cheap effects may turn-off your pickier horror film snobs,but anyone with a sense of adventure and high tolerance for gore will be reasonably pleased--if not greatly impressed--by this first effort film. A keeper,not a renter,not only for repeated viewing but also for the extras.
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Interestingly good...
yucel81x5 February 2001
For a film that was made on a budget that would make Steven Spielberg die laughing, "Evil Dead" was one for the most interesting pieces of horror cinema I've ever seen. I watched the series backwards, so "Army of Darkness" was the film I saw first, then "Evil Dead II." While "Evil Dead II" is probably still my favorite, it was interesting to see where it all started.

The camera work is incredibly good, and the fast motion sequences showing the demon's approach was pretty well done, if not completely original. Though also interesting, and kinda funny to note is that we see the characters running away, but when the camera switches away from the demon's view, we don't see the demon, and that seems like a touch of genius...we know it's there, but we can't see it, and while it probably was a limitation of the budget, it actually proved to be a great method of suspense.

The special effects are as laughable as they were in the rest of the series, but there's something to be said for a film that takes its chances and goes to the extreme in lieu of lacking resources. People complain about this a lot, but I have to say to them "get a sense of humor." The whole point of the "Evil Dead" series was to mock horror films and show how campy they were and that they could get even worse. It's humor is in that the film tries to take itself seriously, but the lack of a big budget makes this not only impossible, but even funny in spite of the fact that it could conceivable be a serious film.

The acting is also terrible, but again in that way that it's so obviously bad that it's hard to tell were the actors just plain bad or were they doing that deliberately to serve the purpose of mocking the genre. Bruce Campbell's introduction into the world of abused heroes is interesting since his character is actually less of a chauvinist in this one than he ultimately became famous for. But it works, and the horror on his face when his friend has no reservations about chopping up his possessed girlfriend is actually believable.

Overall, this movie is a great piece of cinema. It's humorous, but serious as well, and its greatest strength is its ability to draw the line between being part of the genre and mocking it. There are plenty of moments of original horror (I don't think anybody could keep their composure during the "Tree Rape" scene, which they repeated to lesser effect in "Evil Dead II," but let's face it that movie was supposed to be a rehash and extension). Give the film a chance and don't take it too seriously. Otherwise you're missing the point.
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10/10
The ultimate experience in grueling horror
acidburn-1026 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A Horror classic, if you don't have this horror movie in your collection then just get it because your horror collection just wouldn't be complete without this cult classic.

There are just so many shocking scenes in this movie which never holds back like A woman getting raped by trees which was very unsettling and scary, people getting hacked to pieces and heads getting chopped off, when the some of the characters turns into zombies is just terrifying and all done with brilliant directing. This film is all style and that adds to the creepy factor. This movie wouldn't be as scary if Raimi wasn't behind the camera.

One of the most terrifying scenes is when all the main characters are at the cabin and one of the girls is standing by the window and the other 2 girls are playing cards trying to guess each others cards and the girl standing by the window guesses all the cards and turns around and she's a zombie and starts attacking everyone.

The acting is really good they actually got a cast worth caring about like Bruce Campbell (Ash) very convincing and sympathetic and shows that he's a true icon Ellen Sandwess (Sheryll) is plain looking but she works, especially when she's possessed Hal Delrich (Scotty), Betsy Baker/Linda and Sarah York (Shelly) all do well. They come across as normal people and played by real people instead of fashion models that we get in today's horror movies.

All in all Evil Dead is just one of a kind with a simple story but filled with gore and still holds up to the standards of today.
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10/10
A movie everyone should respect !
Coventry10 September 2003
A few nights ago, a couple of friends and myself watched The Evil Dead again. It was like the 68th viewing for me ( I think...lost count somewhere around 50) but it still only means one thing to me: PARTY !! Many feeling can occur when watching this delicious masterpiece by Sam Raimi. You can either adore it, be frightened by it or be disgusted by it. But it always leaves a big impression on you and I can't imagine anyone would hate it.

And there is ONE feeling that everyone should have towards this movie...RESPECT ! Mostly respect regarding the achievement of Sam Raimi. This guy was 21 years old when he made this film and that's impressive to say the least. I'm around that age at the moment and I sure as hell haven't pulled it off yet...I strongly doubt I ever will, actually. No, when you're able to come up with such an original and dared idea for a horror film, you belong to the greatest minds in the film industry. Sam Raimi did it and his further career only confirmed his status of being a genius with every single movie he directed afterwards. Tons of respect towards Bruce Campbell as well. Sure his performance in this movie is far from great, but at the time, he did it because of his friendship with Sam Raimi. And because The Evil Dead became a big hit, his career was launched too and he certainly grew as an actor. Bruce Campbell is now in the favorite actor-list of many B-movie fans...And I'm one of them.

Then there's Tom Sullivan...responsible for the make-up. What a fine job he did. The Evil Dead gave a whole new meaning to the word "gore" and we have this man to thank for that. Most nowadays horror films still can't live up to the standard of Evil Dead...not even close.

The plot of this film is as simple as can be...but it works. Five friends drive to a small cabin in the woods to spend a small vacation. They find a tape recorder with a message...Out of curiosity, they play it and pure evil is rised in the woods. One by one, they become possessed and turn into horrible demons who try to kill those who're still alive...That's it !!! And that's all there is needed to create a fun and very original horror movie. The same story already came out in 1978 as a short film called "Within the Woods". It was meant to fund money for this film and it's great B-movie fun as well. If you're a big fan of The Evil Dead trilogy, it's certainly worth searching for.

Anno 2003, Sam Raimi has grown out to one of Hollywood's favorite directors. He became immortal in the eyes of the big budget audience with his movie Spiderman. The sequel of that one is in production while I write this. I'm sure it will be as decent as the first Spiderman was, but I'd still prefer to see Evil Dead 4 coming from the brain of Sam Raimi.

A fun trivia element to finish this review with : If you're watching the end credits of the Evil Dead, you'll see Joel Coen is credited as Assistent Editor. Coen now is a famous director as well and may be considered as the best director alive. Back in 1981, he and Sam Raimi were close friends and even shared a studio when they were in collage. Joel Coen made his debut in 1984 with Blood Simple. One of the best cult movies ever made...

Join us....
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10/10
"Join us!" "The Evil Dead" is gruesome fun!
eytand9420 August 2009
Before "Spider-Man," Sam Raimi started off as the director of the classic fright film "The Evil Dead," which, to this day, is one of the hippest horror films ever.

Ash, his girlfriend Linda, his sister Cheryl, and his friends Scott and Shelly head out to an isolated cabin in the woods for some fun. But right from the beginning, strange things happen. Cheryl hears voices howling "Join us!" And then, Ash and Scott find a recording of a ritual from a book called The Book of the Dead. Too bad for them, because that ritual releases soul-hungry demons who possess everybody in the cabin. The only way to stop the demons is through the act of bodily dismemberment, and it's up to Ash to return the demons to their resting place. However, it's not gonna be easy.

"The Evil Dead" can be very scary, but it's mostly great fun to watch due to its shameless amount of gore. This movie goes so over the top, it sort of becomes comic, and I dig that.

Bruce Campbell has created such an icon out of Ash, a character who has lasted through 3 films. Campbell is a master. The other cast is very good with Ellen Sandweiss as Cheryl, Hal Delrich as Scott, Betsy Baker as Linda and Sarah York as Shelly.

"The Evil Dead" is a movie done with so much love for the genre, and a movie like that only comes once in a while. Hilariously gory, well-acted, and great fun to watch on a nice Halloween night, a horror movie like this doesn't get any better. A classic!

****
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10/10
The Evil are very gory when they are Dead
dr_mario_rules6 January 2008
Sam Rami gives us a gory good time in his first, feature-length film.

Cult-favorite Bruce Campbell gives the performance of his career as Ash Williams, also starring are Ellen Sandweiss, who plays the best deadite, as Sheryl. To round out the cast are Hal Delrich playing Scott, Theresa Tilly playing Shelly, and Betsy Baker as Linda, Ash's girlfriend.

These five teens go to a cabin for a weekend getaway that Scott bought cheap (Gee, I wonder why?) But while exploring the cabin's basement with Ash, they find three objects, a shotgun, a tape recorder, and an ancient book bound in flesh and written in blood. Yeah, that's a good sign. Well, in true dumb teen fashion, they play the tape, which makes something evil come from the woods. Later that day Cheryl decides to check something outside, she thought she saw. But when the trees rape her. Yes, rape, I know. The evil manifests in her, and she becomes a deadite, now Ash must fight off his friends and sister who are becoming deadites, one by one.

I must give this film a ten because it has a great premise. Great gore. Great special effects. Great everything. Best horror movie ever made!
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An indisputable horror classic, still as fresh and frightening as the day it was made.
Infofreak8 July 2002
Sam Raimi is currently getting a lot of attention and acclaim for directing the over-hyped blockbuster 'Spider-Man'. That movie has introduced him to mainstream filmgoers, no bad thing in itself, but to many of us Raimi is already a legend, because he created 'The Evil Dead', without a doubt one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Made on a shoe string budget as a labour of love, it still remains Raimi's best movie. He has subsequently worked on bigger projects with bigger names but it is arguable whether he has ever surpassed the invention, thrills, energy and sheer fun of this. And why Bruce Campbell never became a genuine movie star after his debut here, and not just a much loved cult figure, is a complete mystery to me. 'The Evil Dead' is a modern horror classic and absolutely ESSENTIAL viewing for any self-respecting movie buff! It doesn't get much better than this!
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8/10
A true horror classic.
michaelRokeefe4 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Director Sam Raimi and good friend Bruce Campbell set out to make a real scary movie...although filmed on 16mm, THE EVIL DEAD is good enough to be your next nightmare and a hell of a lot better than your run of the mill slice and dice. Campbell plays Ash Williams, one of five college friends set out to have a wild weekend in the woods. Two guys...three girls journey to a remote cabin, of course in the middle of the woods. And the woods whisper "Join Us". The group stumbles upon a book and a tape recorder belonging to the previous inhabitants, warning of evil spirits lurking in the woods. When the dead come out to play, the newest victims turn into horrid ghouls. Ash, who at heart is a cowardly pansy, turns out to be the macho, macho man to the rescue. It takes courage, a shotgun and a chainsaw.

When the flesh-eating demons start their attack, the blood doesn't just ooze; it splatters, gushes and flows by the bucketful. And there is the scene where one of the girls is beckoned into the woods only to be attacked and raped by a...tree?! Cheap special effects galore decorate this vacation to a little north of Hell. The comedy was unintentional. It is a product of bad acting by actors with little or no experience. But still, Raimi as writer and director has stumbled upon something here. THE EVIL DEAD more than deserves its youth restricted rating. As if it really matters, other cast members are: Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Ellen Sandweiss and Theresa Tilly.
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10/10
Scariest Movie I Have Ever Seen
baconballs196910 May 2007
I first saw this film when it was first released on video back in the 80's during my final years at school. It was the "in" thing - the movie to watch and the most talked about movie amongst us teenagers who were scared to death watching it.

When I watched this the first time, I made the huge mistake of watching it alone. Right from the beginning, with the eerie, spine-chilling music and the sense of dark evil in the woods I knew that this movie was going to be unique in the amount of atmospheric terror it would strike into my very soul.

Nearly every single scene scared me to death - the most frightening moments for me were when the camera was zooming around the steamy swamps, through the woods and approaching the cabin at break-neck speed, only to retreat quickly back when the poor soul running from the darkness made it to safety and slammed the door behind them.

The zombies were excellent - the best I have ever seen (or ever likely to see) in any horror movie and their voices were deeply disturbing.

After viewing it I told my friends at school how I felt about it and they all agreed that they were deeply disturbed by the whole experience and to me, this will always be the ultimate in scary horror - no other film before or since has come anywhere near the mark for heart-striking terror for me.

Even to this day I have to pluck up the courage to spin this disc in the DVD player - the effect it had on me back on the 80's lies firmly planted within me and even when I hear anyone mention the title of this film today it strikes me full of terror.

It just goes to show that you don't need a huge pile of cash to make a fantastic, chilling movie.

Evil Dead is the best horror film of all time, and with the rubbish they produce today I think I can confidently say that no other movie could ever scare me again as much as this one does.

Excellent!
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An influential horror movie with some humour, loads of gore and some shocking moments
bob the moo27 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Looking for a fun weekend away, Ash, Cheryl, Scotty, Shelley and Linda all head up to a cabin in the woods for drinking and fun aplenty. Having found it in the midst of the woods, they ignore the mysterious things they see and settle in. However, a clock stops and a mysterious trap door opens on its own and the boys go to investigate. Finding an old book and a tape recorder, they discover that something happened here but don't believe claims of the wood being alive. However when strange things start happening they find it is too late to try and leave and that they have awakened demons that will kill them all before dawn.

I wonder if this film would have been as famous in the UK if it were not for the outrage that it got involved in with the whole "video nasties" affair, I guess we'll never know but whatever factors helped it on its way it is undeniable that Evil Dead has been a great influence on many subsequent films. It is easy to look at the things like the tacking shots (done by running with camera on planks), the excessive gore and the "cabin in the woods" setting and call it obvious and clichéd but that is to forget that some of these things have become the norm since this film, maybe even because of it. This is not to say that the film isn't cheesy, poorly acted and rather low cost but then that is a fair claim because it is all these things but it is actually more impressive when you know the limitations it was made under. The gore and effects may have dated now but they are still very effective – not because they are cutting edge effects but because they are delivered with a real nasty eye and a sense of horror and brutality that really helps the action. I will admit that ED2 is delivered with real comedy but this film is a lot nastier and I defy anyone to be amused by some scenes. Specifically the BBFC's excised "pencil in wound" scene is hard to watch but is not as genuinely disturbing as the tree rape – this is not a funny scene but one that really delivers the horror of this film.

Given that this is a low budget horror then I think it succeeds well because it is gory and, although not that scary (coming from a man who is freaked out by all zombie films) the gore is hard to watch at times and made me flinch. The performances play second fiddle to the director, who marks out the style that he carried with him on his way to becoming the director of blockbusters that he now is; his camera-work is clever and he has a sense for the manic and the brutal. The cast are mostly forgotten and it is only Campbell who has gone on to cult status, but even his performance is not remarkable here (much, much better in ED2) and the rest are just "kids in a cabin" fodder.

Overall this is a good film that is a low budget horror that works thanks to constant gore, clever and energetic direction and a real sense of brutality in the action. It isn't wonderful and many will dismiss it as just one of many "don't go into the woods" horror movies but that is to forget how early it came in that cliché. People who dislike gore will find little else here and I personally prefer the horror comedy of Evil Dead 2 that is more or less a remake with a bigger budget, less brutality and more laughs but this is still an influential film that should be seen for that reason.
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This Film Will Scare You
Big Movie Fan17 May 2002
The Evil Dead is a film that scared me. In fact, everyone I spoke to has been scared of this film.

It really is a horrible film. You feel sorry for the characters in it. They are trapped in a cabin in the woods with some evil looking demons. The forest itself is alive and there is no way out. When I first watched this film I wanted the good guys to die because I felt sorry for them.

This film is one of the great horrors like The Omen, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Nightmare on Elm Street. There are some truly creepy scenes in the film. The scariest scenes are where the girls are possessed by the demons. The other really scary scene is where the demon is in the cellar-I couldn't stop thinking about that scene.

The best horror films are the ones where the characters are in hopeless situations with no easy way out. The Evil Dead is one of those films. It really is creepy. Make sure you watch this film during daylight hours. Those with a nervous disposition should avoid.
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10/10
STILL THE BEST OF THE FRANCHISE!!! A HORROR CLASSIC
lukem-5276011 August 2018
I grew up watching the BRILLIANT evil dead trilogy & love all 3 movies, my favourite was probably Army of Darkness but now i would say NOTHING beats the terrifying & gruesome 1981 original Horror MASTERPIECE!!! The original is pure Horror & is a gritty low-budget gross demonic possession flick before it went all comical, Ash was more of a terrified coward here but he was more real & full of fear like anyone would be!!! The setting is scary as hell & the atmosphere is full of dread & it's all very well made on that tiny budget. A true scary old school Horror classic that used to terrifying me as a kid & still today it's scary as well as being crazy disgusting fun. Evil Dead (1981) really is a true Horror movie with amazing monster fx done with a tiny budget so this really is a Horror CLASSIC & the brilliant director Sam Raimi's MASTERPIECE
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A rather well-made low budget horror film.
FrankIrons18 October 2014
The Evil Dead is the 1981 directorial debut of Sam Raimi, and it's certainly a fine film. The camera techniques are easily this first film's high point, it was just done in such a creative way that still leaves you guessing how it was done. But the weak points are in writing and acting. Bruce Campbell is a great actor, but in this film, he's mediocre at best, and the writing certainly doesn't help that one bit, and he's the best of our five cast members. But despite the detractors, it does invest you into it. As stated earlier, the camera floats around in an inventive manner that is rather impressive for a first timer. Another positive is the tension, which is helped by the music. It has this really good and creeping atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Really check this out, but do note that this is the weakest of the three, although if you aren't too much of a fan of comedy, this one might be your favorite, yet that isn't my opinion and is certainly not the opinion of most. And for all of you, this is legally on YouTube for free, so you all can watch it.
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9/10
Great low budget American horror film!
Charlotte_Kaye29 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Forget today's "modern," "hip," "polished" "PG-13" horror movies full of pretty people, recycled plots and cheesy computer effects. I'll take a cheaper, grittier and more audacious, inventive and humorous 80s horror movie any day of the week! Five people, led by future cult horror hero Bruce Campbell, rent a cabin way out in the middle of the woods. In the basement they find an ancient book, read a few passage out of it and all hell (literally) breaks loose! Several characters quickly become possessed by demons whose only mission is to kill the living. And that's all the plot this terrific little fright flick really needs. It's not a "plot" movie anyway, it's an exercise in horror in the purest sense; with atmosphere, mood, pacing, camera-work and splatter all at the forefront. Sam Raimi's now-classic film set new standards for levels of blood and gore way back in 1981, and the film stands the test of time miraculously well considering all the advancements in special effects since it was made. In fact, I actually prefer this old style mix of make-up effects and stop motion animation to pretty much all of today's films. Also of note is the invigorating point-of-view camera-work, which has been copied endlessly sense. "Evil Dead" is a fantastic, scary, funny, imaginative and gory good time not to be missed! I know a lot of people seem to prefer the 1987 sequel or even 1991's third installment "Army of Darkness," but I'm still a much bigger fan of the look, feel and tone of the original.
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9/10
Creepy as hell
Born_Free15 May 2006
when I first saw the movie i was expecting it to be a splatter movie with no scares just gore, I was very glad when the i was about half-way through the movie because it was one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. The sounds the possessed make and their empty eyes,the cheap yet good make up effects,the thick fog and darkness.

This movie also features some great camera work, and some of the shots were pure genius. It might be a little nasty with the trees raping women and the gallons of blood and gore but in this case the gore is not just filler to make the movie more repulsive so it wont need to be scary, no this movie really is scary.

Every horror movie fan should own this.

But I'm not giving it 10 points because of the silly FX in the final scene with the book and the demons.

The plot is not a masterpiece but it's alright and nothing really bothers you, and as for the acting lets just say that although the actors would never win the academy awards they are much better then Saw's actors could ever be.
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The Evil Dead: Best Horror Ever!
Irelander6 July 2006
This is the movie that as a young lad I loved to come home from school to smack in the VCR and kick back to, while the other brats on my street put on the cartoons.

The Evil Dead is a film that now as an adult, I take to leadership weekends and trips to show the teens and freak them out...

Hell, it made many of the fans of Bruce Campbell fans for life! I don't know one person who didn't like it.

Sam Raimi did a great job on the film and the ones that came after this. But, this one will always be the best.

If ya really wanna hail to the king, then this the film that on the throne.

Enjoy the show!
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9/10
The scariest piece of horror ever!
en_van_med_en_bil29 October 2002
Until about 3 years ago, my favorite movie was Halloween 2. There was no doubt, whatsoever that THAT was the greatest horror flick ever.

Then, in the fall of 1999, I found The Evil Dead on a sale at a shopping center in Stockholm for a great price. The previous missing 12 minutes of blood and gore (that the Swedish censorship had cut) were back, in the full uncut Swedish version.

I bought it with another film, 'cause there was an offer to buy 2 movies and only pay 100 crowns (about $11/£7 today).

I saw it, and I was scared beyond recognition! The music, the low budget camera, the camera work! Everything. It had everything!

It was scary, it was dark, the music was scary, it was made during the golden age of horror (early 80's) with a low budget and no huge stars in it - everything I look for in a horror movie.

It still is my favourite - no doubt about it. I can't imagine any movie being better than Raimi's masterpiece, I definitely can't.

The greatest piece of horror ever!
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10/10
The be all end all of horror movies!!!!!!!!!!!!
cyberiouse03 March 2005
This movie is the movie that started me into horror movies. I had seen horror movies before this but this is what made me a horror fan. if you haven't seen it i give this movie and its sequels my highest recommendation

there is everything in these movies. From disgusting horror, shock horror, spookie horror, and even a bit of humor. The only slight down side may be that it was made very low budget. This is covered over by the greatest actor of all time--------------BRUCE CAMPBELL. He is a great actor in all movies and this is his start. It is also the start of Sam Raimi's directing career. There is great directing, great acting, great fun, inventive camera angles, and even a little bit of nudity if you like that sort of thing. so watch and enjoy.
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10/10
Cult classic!
Jack the Ripper188823 December 2002
Sam Raimi's original cult classic is probably one of the better zombie movies ever made. THE EVIL DEAD, becoming legend in the horror genre shocked audiences around the world and became a phenomenon. Who would have thought that a simple independent horror film would become such a hit? Certainly not Sam Raimi or film star Bruce Campbell, who was pretty much the only actor who went on to bigger and better movies.

If you are a fan of zombie movies and horror films in general, then this original cult classic will satisfy your appetite for horror and gore.

The acting is pretty good and the film's premise and story are somewhat original, especially for such a low-budget movie. For being what it is, THE EVIL DEAD was a masterpiece of horror.

THE EVIL DEAD gets 3/5.
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7/10
A Horrific Masterpiece
caspian197813 January 2005
Sam Raimi proved to the world that he could not only direct a movie but that he could create a product that was not only original but that could scare the hell out of you. Since the 1981 release, Bruce Campbell has found work on many film projects due to his break out performance in the Evil Dead. Raimi, has gone on to direct many films. Both have earned much of their career based on this little horror movie, that has been re-produced / recycled by thousands of "wanna-be" film makers world wide. This is not your typical "zombie" film, let alone your garden variety horror movie as well. The Evil Dead is one of those black comedies / horror movies that overwhelms the audience to either be scared out of their wits or won over by the movie's story and over the top characters. The Evil Dead is what most, if not all horror movies should be, very real and powerful.
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10/10
Great horror movie don't take it too seriously
pn200626 June 2008
Evil Dead was made in 1979 by a bunch of students out of Michigan on a shoestring budget, drive and a lot of guts. They froze, ate crap, got beat up and cut and burned themselves out.

The end result, after $350,000 and 3 years of post production was an awesome, gorefest, filled with silliness, great scares and eye-popping scenes.

It starts off slowly enough with the teens going up for a weekend of supposed getting' it on and after reading a forbidden book tapped on a tape recorder, well, all hell breaks loose. The lone pretty girl is lured into the woods and raped by malevolent trees (awesome scene!), she comes back and begins to butcher her friends. They begin one by one to turn into monsters and attack the lone survivor who uncovers the only way to defeat the evil in the woods...or did he? Anyway, 10 on 10, hat's off to Raimi and his crew and may this never be remade. It's perfect the way it is.
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7/10
lower expectations make for greater enjoyment
Zod-228 September 2003
With 365 other reviews at the time of this writing I find it hard to believe that I have anything new to add but here goes.

No movie is ever going to be liked by everybody but I think the fact that The Evil Dead gets so much positive hype from its fans that fewer people in the future will enjoy it. Hype brings with it a twisted like/hate ratio. A movie with lots of positive hype will receive fewer positive critiques from future viewers and vice versa, negative will bring more positive critiques.

With that said I admire what The Evil Dead brings to horror. When I first watched this movie as a teen it and it's sequel scared the hell out of me. It didn't help that I watched it in my basement alone but that's part of the fun of horror movies. I watched The Evil Dead again last night and it still packed a punch for me. Of course not nearly as much as it did 15 years ago but I still found it enjoyable.

The Evil Dead is an uneven movie but that is to be expected being made on such a meager budget. But it does have enough suspense, shocks and creepiness to it that The Evil Dead can actually claim to be a horror movie. A lot of nay-sayers of The Evil Dead say it's a "stupid" movie, which in and of itself is a brilliant critique don't you think? I for one think it's anything but. Unlike many horror films it has a story which is easy to follow and for the most part fair to the viewer.

Given that The Evil Dead was made for somewhere around $350,000 many of the aspects of the movie are remarkable. The special effects are nicely done even if at times obvious. Sam Raimi's camera work makes otherwise dull moments interesting to watch for the viewer. Raimi knows his way around a dollar and in The Evil Dead he gets everything he can out of every cent he spends.

So if you are looking for a good horror film, The Evil Dead is a perfect choice, if viewed in the right frame of mind. Just remember, it was made on a very small budget, it was made by a first time writer/director and amateur actors. With this in mind you should have yourself a good time watching The Evil Dead. The Evil Dead rates a 7 out of 10.
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