Evil Dead (Franchise)

4 – Army of Darkness; The third entry in this franchise of horror classics is easily the worst. With that out of the way, let us acknowledge that Army of Darkness is a good movie. It has Bruce Campbell still as the franchise’s iconic face – though it lacks any other acting power. It has a fun script that is different and interesting to say the least. No new characters really stand out, though. The movie is also just as enjoyable as the rest of the franchise, just in different ways. But let it be known that these differences in story tone are what put it behind its cohorts. At the end of Evil Dead II, Ash is shown in this medieval realm in a very interesting scene. However, this scene is ignored (other than its setting) completely in the beginning of Army of Darkness despite having the same director (Sam Raimi). Army of Darkness takes a contrasting, laughable view on things. It gets sillier and more out of hand in nonsense the further you get. Still a good film, Army of Darkness simply falls short in comparison. Cinemaster Score: 7/10

3 – Evil Dead (2013); From around the year 2000 to roughly 2010 there were a large quantity of classic horror remakes. Everything from Dawn of the Dead and The Hills Have Eyes to Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 2013 alone had remakes in Carrie and Texas Chainsaw 3D. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when The Evil Dead was getting its own remake. Like many remakes (not to be confused with reboots) this film brings little new to the table other than some modernization in visuals amongst other things. The acting is great in consideration of the lacking star power. The script is changed a bit for modernization – as is the gore and new direction from Fede Álvarez. The story is pretty much identical with some minor changes. All-in-all, Evil Dead (2013) is just fine as far as remakes come but has one missing piece that makes all the difference – that being good ol’ Ashy Slashy. Cinemaster Score: 7.7/10

2 – The Evil Dead (1981); The Evil Dead is one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. Its protagonist (Ash Williams) is instantly solidified as one of the best main characters in the genre. His character has one of the best arcs in any horror film ever and Bruce Campbell plays him to perfection. The Evil Dead is what started this maniacal series – and while it seems relatively tame in comparison, this film kick-started the controversial series. Sam Raimi pours every bit of his creative energy into this low-budget flick that still manages to shock today. Yes, the acting is cheesy – but for good reason. Its cheesiness is what makes The Evil Dead so charming and original. What makes it such a classic though, is its unflinching desire to provoke anyone who watches it. As such, it is a decisive film for many. So if you enjoy a film with guts, and one that’s buzzing with creativity, then The Evil Dead is for you. Cinemaster Score: 8.8/10

1 – Evil Dead II; Evil Dead II is possibly the greatest horror movie ever. It is equal parts horrifying and darkly comical, making for one of the most unique film experiences we’ve ever had. While Bruce Campbell was excellent before, here he is simply mesmerizing – offering up another layer to Ash Williams that is truly astonishing. Evil Dead II works so well because of its extreme use of violence accompanied by slapstick humor. It melds the two perfectly together to create one of the most iconic parody films ever. Sam Raimi considerably ups the ante from the first movie and makes arguably his best film to date. Everything works to sheer perfection as it outclasses the original in every aspect. It is a monumental feat in horror design and has served as a template for many horror films. Evil Dead II refined the comedy/horror genre into what it is today and should be seen as a cinematic benchmark. Sam Raimi took what made the original so great, and made it into something absolutely groovy. Cinemaster Score: 9.5/10

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