Evil Dead 2 (1987)

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A group of strangers are trapped with a malevolent demonic force in an isolated cabin deep in the woods.

Evil Dead 2 is more of a bigger budget remake of Evil Dead than a true sequel and it’s where Sam Raimi perfected his trademark comic strip style. It was obviously still made on a shoestring budget by today’s standards but the hysterical over-acting and amusingly ropy effects actually add to the madcap vibe of the film that captures the spirit of a ride on a ghost train through a fun house. It’s actually far too silly to be considered scary, relying more on sight gags and slapstick than atmosphere or tension; a lot of the humour is straight out of old school Vaudeville, Raimi including an homage to the Marx Brothers’ mirror gag and the plate sequence is straight out of the Three Stooges. There’s little in the way of characterisation or even plot, the opening of the film basically consisting of “This is Ash, this is his girlfriend…oops! He’s beheaded her!” and when the cast are not laughing hysterically, they’re screaming hysterically.

But if Evil Dead 2 is anything, it’s wildly inventive and breakneck in pace which means although it may not be the work of genius I was convinced it was when I was a teenager, it is sure as Hell still worth a beer’n’buddies night every Halloween. A horror cult classic.

7.5/10

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