It started with five friends, a cabin in the woods and a book inked in human blood and bound by human flesh. Conceived by the brainstorming of Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy) and Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice), The Evil Dead movie was their own little pet project and a franchise that has been closely linked to both of their names due to its hallmark in the horror genre. So, I’ve decided to go through why the The Evil Dead franchise deserves your attention. Chances are, a lot of people have already heard of it, or seen it. But to those who are unaware of this cult classic, this one is for you!
There’s something out there!
The Evil Dead revolves around Necronomicon (the book of the dead) that has the ability to poses poor souls and drives them to torment the living physically, mentally and emotionally. It makes for a scary concept and this original movie did approach the idea with seriousness.
Though to a modern audience, they’d be forgiven if they thought the movie was being cheesy during some moments but back then these cheesy moments that we know today were quite scary and creepy.
The film’s small budget actually made the team improvise, which added to the movie’s cinema photography. Some scenes where a monster was chasing a character were filmed in first-person view, which was quite ahead of its time. So, instead of showing viewers the monster (because they couldn’t afford to), they just had the camera chase the actors around the woods.
This created this eerie sense of an unknown evil, which really helped the movie drive its point. These scenes not only became iconic but also a staple of the franchise.
Her eyes! What happened to her eyes!?
I’ll avoid spoilers as best I can but one thing I have to talk about is the gore. It’s cheesy and so fake, although I can imagine audiences in 1981 were blown away and shocked by it.
It still retains a bit of that shock factor to an extent but compared to modern movies it can’t really achieve the same results as our eyes are now able to identify prosthetics from what’s real. But this actually adds to the fun of the movie. Being able to see these out-of-date practical effects makes one appreciate the film more because it shows how the team behind the movie had to get creative in order to bring their vision to life.
The actors’ makeup was thick and disgusting even by today’s standards. From red egg-like eyes to cracked skin, the team behind the prosthetics and makeup were really good. I can just imagine how audiences reacted back then.
The Evil Dead (1981) was a horror movie that turned a really low budget into something iconic and much loved by fans to this day. It holds a charm that a lot of horror movies these days lack and it is a guilty pleasure. It has become an annual watch for me during the Halloween season and every time I watch it, I can’t help but smile at how much fun it is to watch.
If you want something to watch this spooky season, then look up The Evil Dead!