Hello out there internet people, it’s me Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review the next in the Evil Dead series, The Evil Dead II.
Just a warning before we get too deep into this review, if you have not seen the movie yet, I may lay some spoilers out below. You’ve been warned.
In some ways this is not a sequel. A lot of the beginning of the film is very similar to the first but Sam Raimi actually fixes a lot of what I saw as problems with the first movie. We still have a couple driving to a remote cabin in the woods. This time though, it’s just a couple, not five people together and they are sneaking into the cabin rather than going there because one of their friends knows about the place. A car crosses a bridge to get there, just like in the first movie but this time the bridge seems sturdy. The cabin itself doesn’t seem all that menacing from the outside. In general the actions of the characters seem a bit more logical here, although logic only extends so far in any horror film.
As Ash, the main character (played by Bruce Campbell) is poking around he discovers the cellar. It’s really only at that point things get creepy. He finds an ancient book and a recording of a professor who is trying to decode the language in the book. You can probably guess a lot of what happens from here. Evil spirits are summoned, Ash tries to escape to the bridge but only after he has had to murder his girlfriend, and finds out the bridge is now mangled and bent and there is no way across.
At the same time, the daughter of the professor who owns the cabin is on her way there to give more pages of the ancient book, the “Book of the Dead” to him. In those pages are the means to defeat the evil that is pursuing Ash and everyone in the forest.
Lots of gore and action happen and we even get to see Ash with his famous chainsaw hand and shotgun holstered on his back.
I know it probably shouldn’t have but the ending surprised me a bit and I think that, in addition to some of the fixes of the problems in the first film, is what makes me like this one a lot more.
Sam Raimi definitely put Bruce Campbell through the wringer on this one. He gets dumped in mud, soaked in blood, lashed at with tree branches and just generally has the worst night ever. I can’t imagine all of the filming was fun for him but it worked out to be a pretty solid film.
I’m looking forward to the next movie to see where exactly they take it from here. I know some people have more love for the first film than the second but my vote is for the second in this franchise.