Film Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead 1981Sam Raimi

Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker and Sarah York
Duration: 85 minutes

So it’s worth me first mentioning that I actually saw the remake before the original, I know, appalling right?

The first thing I noticed in this cult classic was that the suspense started almost instantly and mainly using music too. In the remake it took a fair while to actually get into the thick of it and for it to become slightly edgy unlike the original in which we are thrown straight in the deep end with dark music and lightening speed camera zooming towards the oblivious friends driving to their holiday home. One thing that really struck me about this was that, in most modern horror films we don’t really see the effective use of music anymore, the films are driven by creaks and creeps rather than an atmospheric hair-raising masterpiece (see: 28 Days Later as a prime example of great sound design).

Without giving too much away, one thing I loved about the original and hated about the remake was the means in which the ‘entity’ was summoned, that scene always makes me angry in the remake but the original nailed it. I just had to mention that as I still complain about it today. Now it’s quite difficult to compare the visuals of the two films as a lot had changed between 1981 and 2013 and so of course a lot of progressions will have been made too. We now have far more money to spend on making films look insane, however, I really loved all of the make-up from the original, I thought they did the ‘demons’ really well and it reminded me a lot of The Exorcist (another classic worth checking out).

The Evil Dead 1981 Sam Raimi

To conclude I think this will always be known as a horror classic and definitely had a lot of memorable scenes for me and it was nice to not hate every character, which has been happening to me a lot recently. For what it is, this film is exceptional, but I personally preferred the remake as it was more relatable and had a lot of that awkward scripting ironed out and felt much more natural (which for me has always been an issue with older films, it feels too much like a play), that’s not to say it didn’t scare me though.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Murray McLellan (@CaptainKroch)

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