Sinister Screens

The Evil Dead (1981) ★★★★

The Evil Dead


The ultimate experience in gruelling terror.

In 1979, a group of college students find a Sumerian Book of the Dead in an old wilderness cabin they’ve rented for a weekend getaway.


A true classic! I was introduced to the Evil Dead franchise late with the reinvention of the 2013 Evil Dead film, which quickly became one of my all-time favorites. With its modern gore effects and slicker, bigger budget, it was a great representation of the series. However, the 2013 version didn’t have one essential element: Bruce Campbell.

Revisiting the classic The Evil Dead, it remains a joy to watch 40+ years later. You see the origins which really harnessed what made it so great. The plotline is really to the point: 1) Get characters isolated in creepy cabin. 2) Have them snoop a little too much into things best left untouched. 3) Unleash an ancient evil they must now survive. And during the chaos, make it insanely gory, visceral and fun. This film does it better than any.

The original doesn’t really take advantage of Bruce Campbell’s flamboyant personality as Ash Williams. In later adaptations, including the TV Series Ash vs. Evil Dead, Campbell’s adorable comedic side shines much more. But you do get to see a young Campbell in the beginning of his career before he had the chance to really mold the character to its iconic status.

The Evil Dead is a must-see classic film that holds up well over the decades and has influenced so many other movies in its wake. If you’re jonesing for a trip into horror movie history, this is a great first stop.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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