With one excellent and terrifying Horror film under their belt, Sam Raimi and company, fought to top their stellar debut with a sequel. The brilliance that was able to top their demonic cabin in the woods low budget flick? Adding super dark comedy to the mix. Not sure how that works? Me neither. But "Evil Dead 2" is scary, smart, and hilarious. It is brilliance in cult film making if there ever was one. Even if they did have to re-shoot a first film basics recap for the first act.
Ash (Bruce Campbell) has some plans set up. He's taking his girlfriend to an old cabin in the woods to have some pleasant alone time with her, when he accidentally unleashes hell upon them. With the help of some new friends (relatives and friends of the old man that owned the cabin) Ash is off to fight of demons and unseen forest monsters and banish them from this world once and for all. Hopefully he doesn't get possessed first.
The confusing part about "Evil Dead 2" is the fact that its also a pseudo-remake of the first "Evil Dead". Due to some bull shit legal fuck ups Raimi and crew were unable to get footage of their own movie so they decided to 'refilm' it as the first act instead. So you don't even really need to see "Evil Dead" to get this one. They shave it down and give it the same tone as the rest of the film for the first section - which probably works better in the end.
The beauty of "Evil Dead 2" can be found in the odd and borderline psychotic blend of super violence and humor. Its dark and built of the foundations that made the first film horrifying, but it shapes it through a different lens taking the violence and timing to an almost "Three Stooges" level of slapstick hilarity. How can one not laugh when Ash is jumping on the fruit cellar door with a witches head in the crack? Its a sense of humor though that you will either get or not. If you don't then don't bother finishing the movie. It only gets more ridiculous as it goes.
Once again though, despite a hilarious and certified memorable performance from Campbell as the man turned anti-hero Ash, is the style and vision of director and co-writer Sam Raimi. Sleek shots of low budget mastery and insanely solid comedic wit and timing make this film rise above its own parts. "Evil Dead 2" just further proves the talent contained within its makers.
Cult fans should rejoice in the brilliance that is the hilarious violence of "Evil Dead 2". Its balance of the two is remarkable and untouched even to this day by other films that try to anchor themselves on the lessons learned from this film. This is a staple for the collection of any fan of cult or Horror.
Written By Matt Reifschneider