Friday, January 4, 2013

The Evil Dead (1981) review


If there was such a thing as a perfect horror film, this would be the top contender for me. It's scary, dark, and perfectly set-up.

PLOT:Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend, Linda (Betsy Baker), his best friend, Scott (Richard Demanincor), his sister, Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), and his best friend's girl, Shelly (Theresa Tilly) travel to Tennesse to a hidden cabin in the woods with party on their mind. The cabin is freaky, old, and located across an unsafe bridge. Once they get settled in, strange things start happening causing Ash and Scott venture down in the cellar. They find a tape recorder, a spooky sword, and an old book. They listen to the recordings later and find out this used to be a site for Kandarian demon possessions caused by reading the Book of the Dead aloud. One transcript reads off a passage and it summons the demons. Strange things start to happen involving trees, possession, and dismemberment and now the teens must try and make it out of the house alive. It's a great plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The acting in here was pretty good. Because of the way this movie was made (low-budget and campy), the acting was supposed to be overdone, but it comes off as just right to evoke the right senses of insanity and horror in the characters. Bruce Campbell did a great job as the main protagonist, Ash. He definitely lead the pack. The other shiners were Betsy Baker as Linda, Ellen Sandweiss as Cheryl, and Richard Demanincor as Scott.

SCORE:The score was only there to set the mood right and unnerve the person watching, which it did. The creepy feel of the movie combined with the score to make a truly unnerving set of scenes.

EFFECTS:The effects had to be cheap, considering this was a low-budget film, but they got the job done well. From chocolate syrup as blood, to green cottage cheese as oozing pus, to painted eyelids, every effect was done basically. However, these effects made it much more real and scary compared to today's CG effects.

ANIMATION:The animation in here is used like part of the special effects, but it's still claymation. Some very detailed claymation was used for the ending sequence to enhance the rotting flesh of the demons. I loved this part most because of the artistic view put into it all.

CAMERAWORK:Though the film was low-budget, the director definitely had a vision for cinematography, for he captured each shot to the fullest extent and feeling. Some shots alone freaked me out. Thank you, Raimi.

OTHER CONTENT:Every thing about this film as a horror came together to make the formula for a perfect horror film. It's scary, funny, unforgiving, campy, dark, simple, well-crafted, controversial, and even creatively executed. The effects and mood of the film just unnerve the viewer and possibly sends shivers down their spines. Even in the latter scenes all the way up to the climactic battle at the end, the feeling of true horror and the rarely captured feeling of pure insanity is seen in here, beautifully created by the actors. I also liked how they experimented with sound to make the demon voices just right to scare. It's just a perfect horror film becuase it has everything it needs.

OVERALL,an epic horror film with a basic plot executed to the best degree, acting that fit the mood of the film, unnerving score, working low-budget effects, beautifully gruesome claymation animation, full extent camerawork, the feeling of insanity and pure horror, just right demon voices, and all it takes to make a perfect horror film.

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