swilliamson3’s review published on Letterboxd:
Favorite movie of all time.
I talked to some people yesterday who said that they did not believe in having a favorite movie and I have to disagree. This movie is absolutely perfect, I believe that 100%. Sam Raimi is a master behind the camera, throwing the audience in on this ride from the very first frame. There is never a dull or wasted moment!!! The camera zips and zooms through the cabin and forest in the most creative and bombastic use of cinematography that I’ve ever seen. EVER. YES, you can take your beautiful little shots from Tree of Life ooh so pretty or your captivating baby “long shot” from Birdman oh wow I’m so impressed, but I’ll take Evil Dead 2’s cinematography and visuals all day over those macaroni art films.
I’m definitely kidding about those movies, they’re obviously some of the most beautiful movies ever. All I’m trying to be is obnoxious and LOUD, just like this giant leap for mankind.
The sounds and musical embellishments placed throughout the hour and 24 minute spectacle help it stick the landing between being one of the creepiest, while also being one of the funniest, movies ever. The constant wind in the background, the roar of the chainsaw, the rumble of the evil POV shot, the angry squeaks from the hand, and of course, the aggressive monkey noises that Henrietta makes. Wow this movie is great.
Everyone’s acting is insane, no one plays it chill and I love it. You can talk about the loud hick man Jake, the back and forth possessed-not-possessed girlfriend Linda, or Ted Raimi’s dedicated achievement (yes) in his performance of the evil old Henrietta, but everyone knows who the real deal is here. Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams. I won’t linger on him too long because everything that needs to be said has been said, but this is my favorite performance of all time. Physical and emotional, but especially physical. The man threw himself through so many props and got more blood thrown on him than I could ever imagine. Sam Raimi beat this man, but Bruce used it to his advantage. The only other actor I can think of like that is Luke Danforth. People talk about how crazy Bruce’s performance is in this movie, but watch him in the quieter moments too, I’ll point you toward the scene at the beginning in which Ash wakes up after being thrown through the woods and he smacks up against the tree. He gets up and is center frame, looking up and around at everything that surrounds him. The man is lost and rattled, trying to find the best way out as quick as he can. You see it in his eyes!!! The camera pans around in the spookiest most atmospheric slow 360 twist of a shot, only to come right back to Bruce, completely lost as to what his next move must be. Watch his face in that shot, it’s amazing!!! Besides that, Sam Raimi’s control over the viewer and tone is stronger there than anything I’ve seen in any horror movie ever. Man I went on about Bruce Campbell for forever, but I’m leaving it in.
If there are any 3 scenes that perfectly encapsulate this picture, I’d say it’s the following (in no specific order).
1. Ash vs hand in the kitchen
2. Ash and the furniture having a good old time laughing
LoDuca’s score is bombastic. The effects are like a cartoon, and I mean that in the very best way possible. The colors are LOUD. Unexpected but super fun cliffhanger.
Rob Tapert and Scott Spiegel are the unsung heroes of this movie behind the scenes.
Raimi and Campbell bring their A game.
I saw it for the first time at like 10 years old and saw it for probably the 20th time a few months ago. I think it’s that time again.
Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn is a masterpiece.