Thursday, September 11, 2014

Evil Dead 2 (1987) review


   Watching this film is literally the equivalent of walking into a carnival funhouse. The scares, many perks and execution of the film itself just ensue hilarity, and overall feeling of glorious camp, and a good spirit for the world of horror film. From the performances to the amazing yet cheap effects, this film will sit you down, crack you up, and quite possibly even scare you, but not too much. Unlike it's predecessor, it's not meant to be as serious. 

PLOT: Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend, Linda (Denise Bixler) decide to take a trip to an abandoned cabin in the woods to spend some time together. However, things start getting strange when Ash discovers a recorded message reading off details of a race of demons and performing an indication to summon them. Soon after, Linda gets possessed by one of these demons and Ash must kill her off and stay the night in the cabin alone, for the one road out has been destroyed by the evil. Meanwhile, Annie Knowby (Sarah Berry), the daughter of the voice on the message, has found certain pages of the involved book: the Book of the Dead, and plans to bring them back to the cabin to research and preserve. Up until the point Annie and her party meet with Ash, and even past that point, chaos ensues in and around the cabin, from possessed corpses roaming around to laughing furniture and even to a possessed hand. The plot is excellently executed, with the execution mixing it up anyway it can be. If predictability would be your worry while watching this film, I can guarantee it won't be a problem. This film's plot execution goes in so many different directions that you would swear it's a staged show of a sort. The plot in itself is pretty nice for a horror film: a young couple having to fight demons in a cabin in the woods. It might be a bit general, but it's definitely interesting. 

ACTING: The performances in this film were all done very well, with Bruce Campbell being treated as the shining star as Ash. Campbell's performance in this film is known as one of the most iconic in the history of horror film-making. From a highly-quotable script to key scenes emphasizing the emotion of insanity and pure exhaustion in Ash's character, Campbell definitely cleans house with a truly campy performance of a new horror icon. Aside from Campbell, the other performances were also very well cast. Denise Bixler , Sarah Berry, Kassie DePaiva, and Dan Hicks all fit their parts well as the sultry Linda, the wise Annie, the roughneck Bobby Joe, and the redneck Jake. Their performances would have probably been a little different had they not been cast just right for the character they were willing to play. 

SCORE: The score in this film is very well done, but nothing too special. It enhances the drama, horror, and intensity of the moments, but it doesn't introduce any truly memorable themes to the horror world. 

EFFECTS: The special effects in this film are very well done. To get the special effects just right, director Sam Raimi went from having make-up effects, to digital effects, and even to claymation effects, just to have the mood and image just how he wanted it. The make-up effects are definitely well-thought out but full of camp. Some pretty freaky-looking monsters are introduced throughout the movie, from a deadite Frankenstein to a large, madman of a creature. The digital effects were very cool and enhancing to the film, such as the clouds clearing out of a possessed one's eyes. The claymation effects had to have been my favorite variety of effects Raimi used. The creepy style of the effects and also the camp mood they gave off made the film ten times better than some would believe it to be. 

MISC. THOUGHTS: This film is like a horror film funhouse in several ways: you never know what's going to happen next and it's always going to make you laugh. This film is a creative trip through horror camp that's meant to be fun and unpredictable as well as memorable, which it is without a doubt. However, the sequel's added length of humor takes away a key aspect that its predecessor, Raimi's original Evil Dead, had. The original Evil Dead actually had the potential to be scary. The way it was shot and how vague it was in how it was meant to be taken seriously or not gave the original an accidental potential to actually be frightening. This sequel doesn't have near as many opportunities to come off as scary as its predecessor had. This, however, is the only flaw in this film filled with B-movie camp and glorification. 

   The sequel to Raimi's original horror classic holds up, with fun situations to watch around every corner and an awesomely-played lead to crack the audience up, as well as amazing, lower-budget effects to enhance the film's mood. The film is full of camp and B-movie glory, much like its predecessor, but it doesn't have the potential to be truly scary, as its older sibling had.  

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