Now this review might seem a tad biased, I have to admit that "The Evil Dead" film franchise shaped my love of cult films pretty much single handedly, but its hard to deny the pure fun and impressiveness that is this low budget Horror flick. If there was any time to ever call a film 'a diamond in the rough' its this one. A low budget, some over the top acting, and a relatively straight forward story are all buried under this film's amazing style, charm, and impressive low budget effects. "The Evil Dead" is truly a diamond in the rough.
Ash, his girlfriend, and three of their friends all decide to go hang out in a creepy old cabin in the woods for a little rest and relaxation. What they don't know is that inside this cabin lies pure evil. Evil in the form of an ancient book called the Necronomicon that has the power to release the demons of hell. Of course, being the stupid young people that they are, that's exactly what they do. Now they are going to have to survive the night and avoid getting possessed before the demons get a hold of their precious souls.
The first thing one will notice about "The Evil Dead" is its insanely low budget and work man's ethic of making this film. This film was one pieced together out of pure heart and sheer will power and it shows. This film has a raw energy and truth to it that can't be replicated through paychecks and egos. They made their money go the mile by using innovation here. The special effects for the demons may be cheesy at times but its hard not to say that they didn't make them fucking scary (an unsharpened pencil to the ankle is one of the most intense scenes in the film and its pretty simple) and conceptionally this film does some scary things to make it work. Mouths that don't move on demons, the way they move, and the giggling waiting all will drive the viewer mad too.
Of course, the true star of this film was not Bruce Campbell (despite his 'heroic' and over the top efforts as Ash), but Sam Raimi. His visual prowess and slap in the face style of directing steals this film and only hints at what great things would come for him later. Insane camera shots for visual intrigue and his writing are a match made in heaven (or hell) and watching this film from a filmmakers stand point makes it even all the better. He creates an atmosphere of thick fear and Horror that makes the under-budget seem completely irrelevant.
"The Evil Dead" is a must have Horror icon for all fans of the genre or film in general. Its a milestone in independent film making and shows everyone that if you have the right heart, a little vision, and good friends how far you can go. Its atmospheric, scary, and down right impressive. Give it a little leeway for its low budget, let the charm dazzle you, and you are set to go.
Written By Matt Reifschneider