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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

The Evil Dead (1981)

It’s interesting how a lot of my favourite horror films are older movies.

It could be that they were scarier and more original back in “the olden days” but I imagine nostalgia’s got a fair bit to do with it too.

Last night I watched a film that scared the pants off me the very first time I saw it!

The Evil Dead (1981)

If you’ve seen this one you’ll no doubt be aware that it not only launched director Sam Raimi and actor, Bruce Campbell’s careers, but it spawned two more movies (the second being a comedy remake of this one) as well as a TV series and even several video games.

If you haven’t seen it, as previously mentioned it’s directed by Sam Raimi (the original Spider-Man trilogy), and stars Bruce Campbell (Bubba Ho-Tep) as the now legendary Ash Williams.

This is what it’s about:

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods where they unknowingly awaken an ancient evil. As it takes them one by one, turning each victim into a demonic, murderous version of their former selves, only one survivor remains and must fight if he wants to survive the night.

I love this film! It’s such an iconic horror movie!

Watching it last night though I was really aware of how dated it looks now. Like with a lot of these older films though, that kind of adds to its charm. Quite often the more raw and less polished these kinds of films are, the more scary they seem. Just look at The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

The tension starts from the very beginning and slowly builds to an uncomfortable level thanks to low camera angles, a creepy score by Joseph LoDuca and lots and lots of smoke…

The scariest scene in the movie for me is where “Ash’s” sister turns into a deadite. I remember how terrifying it was the first time I ever saw it as a young teenager. I still can’t watch the bit where she stabs Linda in the ankle with the pencil even now!

I also love the other two Evil Dead movies, Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992). Like I said at the beginning though, those are more comedy than horror but they’re both great movies!

As it happens, Evil Dead II tends to be most people’s favourite of the trilogy but personally I love the horror element of this one.

This movie is totally over the top, violent, disgustingly gory and is the only film I know of that contains a scene where a woman gets raped by trees. All of these things add to why it got banned and why it’s still banned in some countries even today.

If you haven’t seen it and you’re a fan of horror, you need to watch it just to experience it.

If you have seen it, share your thoughts below.

P.S. If you have it on dvd I highly recommend giving it a watch with Bruce Campbell’s commentary turned on. He’s hilarious!

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