Sunday, October 02, 2016

The Evil Dead

Written and directed by Sam Raimi, The Evil Dead is the story of five college friends who spend the night at a cabin in the middle of the woods where they find a mysterious audio tape filled with supernatural elements. The film is a horror movie set in the woods as it play into that air of mystery where five people make an unsettling discovery. Starring Bruce Campbell, Betsy Baker, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, and Sarah York. The Evil Dead is a thrilling and grisly film from Sam Raimi.

Set in the mountains in Tennessee, the film is the simple story of five college friends deciding to spend the night at a cabin in the middle of the woods where all sorts of crazy shit happen once they find a mysterious book and an audio tape filled with strange chants that bring back the dead. That is pretty much the story where it is about a night at a cabin in the woods gone wrong all because of some evil book with this audio tape that features strange voices of chants and such from someone who had been in the cabin trying to do an experiment that went horribly wrong. Eventually, those in the cabin would be possessed by demons and all sorts of shit happen as some had to survive for the night and worried about not being possessed. Sam Raimi’s script doesn’t have much of a plot yet it is about the need to survive as well as figure out what is in this book and why it’s causing all of this trouble?

Raimi’s direction is definitely stylish from the usage of its weaving tracking shots that often move around to play into that sense of terror to some of the dazzling visuals to help build up the suspense. Shot on location in Tennessee, the film does play as this very remote world where everyone wants a break from reality but they go to a place they never should’ve gone to. Raimi’s usage of medium shots and close-ups help play into the intimacy and the interaction of the characters while he uses some wide shots for the location as well as in some of the eerie moments of terror. One notable sequence involves the character Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) who runs into the wood where she is attacked and raped by tree branches as it marks a key turning point in the film where it is clear something bad will happen as it sets the tone for the rest of the film.

There are elements of gore in the film where it is obvious that there’s some low-budget aesthetics that are used but that is what makes it so fun to watch. Even as there are these very graphic depiction of violence in what some of the characters do to survive. Raimi knows how to play with the rhythms of suspense where it is about that air of slow build and see if he will bring a scare or something false yet when it comes to the big scares. They are quite intense as it leads to the climax where someone has to survive and fight off these demons as well as do whatever it takes to get rid of this evil book that is found in the cabin. Overall, Raimi creates a mesmerizing yet gripping film about a bad night at a cabin in the woods involving the dead.

Cinematographer Tim Philo does excellent work with the film‘s grainy 16mm cinematography to play into some of the unique lighting in the scenes set at night as well as creating some moods for some of more terror-driven scenes as well as some natural lighting for the scenes in the day. Editor Edna Ruth Paul does brilliant work with the editing in creating some unique rhythms to play with the suspense as well as some stylish cuts to play into some of its dark humor. Special makeup effects by Tom Sullivan, with additional work by Bruce Campbell, is great for the way the demons look as well as all of the gore that is created. Sound editor Joe Masefield does superb work with the sound to play into some of the way the woods sound as well as the audio tape and other effects that play into the horror. The film’s music by Joseph LoDuca is fantastic for its mixture of eerie electronics and somber orchestral score with the latter playing into some of the drama and the former into its suspense and horror.

The film’s amazing cast feature Hal Delrich as Scotty who is kind of an asshole who tries to cause mayhem only to panic when things go bad. Sarah York is wonderful as Scotty’s girlfriend Shelly who tries to comprehend what is going on while trying to have fun. Betsy Baker is excellent as Ash’s girlfriend Linda who would be stabbed in the foot by a demon as she has trouble trying to survive. Ellen Sandweiss is brilliant as Ash’s sister Cheryl as the young woman who would be the first to get possessed and attacked as she thinks something about the place isn’t right only to lose it completely. Finally, there’s Bruce Campbell in a phenomenal performance as Ash Williams as this college guy who is trying to make sense of everything as well as understand what is in the mysterious book where he tries to do whatever he can to survive and kill all of these demons.

The Evil Dead is a sensational film from Sam Raimi that features an incredible performance from Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams. It’s a horror-suspense film that is full of chills, stylish camerawork, and some gory special effects that makes it a whole lot of fun to watch. In the end, The Evil Dead is a tremendous film from Sam Raimi.

Sam Raimi Films: (It’s Murder!) - (Clockwork) - (Within the Woods) - (Crimewave) - Evil Dead II - (Darkman) - Army of Darkness - (The Quick and the Dead) - (A Simple Plan) - (For Love of the Game) - (The Gift (2000 film)) - Spider-Man - Spider-Man 2 - Spider-Man 3 - (Drag Me to Hell) - (Oz the Great and Powerful) - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

© thevoid99 2016


Courtney Young said...

Surprisingly, I only saw this for the first time a year ago, and I loved it!!! Great post!

thevoid99 said...

Thank you. This is an awesome film as I just watched Army of Darkness which now completes the Evil Dead trilogy as that was fun though I still think Evil Dead II is the best of the three films.

Anonymous said...

Great review of an excellent film. I only recently saw this film and I'm glad I did.

thevoid99 said...

@vinnieh-Excellent. I hope you see the rest of this glorious trilogy.