Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Evil Dead (1983)

The Evil Dead
Directed by Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell
Grade: C+

I don’t know whether I’m supposed to be impressed by how cheap “The Evil Dead” is, or how much blood it manages to squeeze out of that miniscule budget. Either way, it’s safe to say it doesn’t click in the way that “The Blair Witch Project” did, neither particularly terrifying nor funny, basically a silly exercise in genre filmmaking with Dogme-like limitations. It does hold up as an example of how production values are unimportant in creating an effective horror film in relation to what you do with those production values, and Raimi’s roaming style of filmmaking achieves a fair blend between genuine scares and a wholly ridiculous grand guignol. Ultimately, the film means much more in the context of independent filmmaking than as a benchmark for its genre, the 1980s equivalent of what “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was for the 1970s, and ‘Blair Witch’ was for the 1990s, but stuck in a decade in which American cinema struggled, and an obvious, dated representation of that.

3 comments:

Brittani Burnham said...

I'm actually looking forward to the remake of this, and I don't say that too often. The original felt a bit campy to me (though I need to re-watch it)

Derek Bowman said...

I generally love this series, and when my younger brother and I watched this (in broad daylight) we thought it was genuinely creepy despite still being hilarious. It's pure camp macabre, making the utmost of it's low, low, low budget. So exciting and off the wall for its genre.

The prospect of a remake doesn't excite me, but I'll definitely give it a look.

Calum Reed said...

@Brittani:
I am, too. Hopefully they can follow in the footsteps of Cabin in the Woods last year.

@Derek:
I've heard that the second one is better/funnier, so I may give that a go. I'm generally a horror fan, and I *loved* Drag Me to Hell so it was sorta surprising to me that this didn't click.