Director – Sam Raimi
Cast – Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie DePaiva, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier
Release Year – 1987
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Seldom are sequels just as good or even better than their predecessor. Most great films leave big footsteps to fill due to the fact that most of the plot development happens in the first film, therefore making sequels quite inadequate as far as the story line goes. This forces the sequel to incorporate “new” and “eye catching” ideas that will generate attention, although most of the time these new ideas are simply a waste and leave us dissatisfied with a finished product of a film that should have never happened. However when it comes to The Evil Dead 2…that is not the case.
This film picks up right where the first one left off(with a brief flashback showing events from the first film to bring the viewer up to speed), with Ash alone in the cabin after the four friends he was with were possessed and subsequently hacked up, in awesome manner of course. Sitting alone in the abandoned cabin is taking it’s toll on Ash psychologically. He is seeing things, inanimate objects are coming to life, and his hand is then subsequently possessed, forcing him to violently hack it off before it does any more damage to him. However, his lonesome stay at the cabin is ended when a group of 4 people, led by the daughter of Professor Knowby, show up to the cabin searching for him and his wife. The daughter possesses the last few pages of the Book of the Dead, and wishes to deliver them to her father. Little do they know…now that they have entered the cabin, there will be no escape, as the demons her father unleashed have very violent plans for Ash and his new guests.
This film gives us everything that The Evil Dead delivered and it is done perfectly. Great gore, even more great laughs, a great continuing storyline, and of course…Bruce Campbell! Evil Dead 2 is more “slapstick” than the first film, but still managed to deliver some cool scares and still come out a very good horror film. I loved the hilarious scenes involving Ash’s hand becoming possessed and kicking his ass with random objects found around the house. This film is also where we are first introduced to Ash welding the infamous “chainsaw attachment” as well as the sawed off shotgun(although he doesn’t title it his “Boomstick!” until “Army of Darkness”) he uses to fight off the possessed, otherwise known in the Evil Dead Trilogy as “deadites”. Once again Sam Raimi didn’t stray away from the gore, delivering some great scenes involving dancing corpses and what seems to be at least a hundred gallons of blood used in just one scene alone. We are also given the amazing visual effects and as well as creepy audio effects that the first one delivered. Bravo to Sam Raimi for not straying away from the feel of the original, while still giving us a film that is itself pretty original in it’s own right. I also really liked that more of the story behind the Book of the Dead is shown, which should be interesting to those people like me who are “info freaks” and just naturally curious about this interesting aspect to the plot of the film.
Once again I have no real complaints about this film other than some minor goofs that seem to always accompany low budget films that are tight on money and days behind schedule. However if you are looking for a more serious film then you just stick to the first Evil Dead film. Although this film is not a horror/comedy, the first half of the film is filled with many comedic events while Ash is by his lonesome inside the demon inhabited cabin. I really found the comedic events to benefit the film and make this a fun film to watch because it does show how Ash is slowly driven crazy by what inhabits the house, just in a fun way!
Overall, a sequel that is just as good as the first film, just on a slightly sillier level. Definitely recommended to all horror and non-horror fans.