Man, I love Evil Dead 2. This is one of the biggest shifts that I’ve seen from a franchise. While the first movie was a bit more of a standard splatter horror movie, Evil Dead 2 is a more approachable horror comedy. I think that’s the reason that this movie is what everyone thinks of when the Evil Dead franchise is thought of. I caught part of it once at a cousin’s house on a black and white tv and I didn’t know the name of the movie, but I do remember being intrigued by it. The VHS cover is really what drew me in because it was just so eye catching.
Evil Dead 2 was directed by Sam Raimi. It was written by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel. It stars Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, and Richard Domeier. Evil Dead 2 shows a more complete Raimi as he has a lot of his style in place in the movie. Bruce Campbell has a handle on who Ash is. He became an amalgamation of Ash and Scotty from the first movie. This is more of an everyman version of what Ash would become in the next movie.
Evil Dead 2 continues the story from the first movie, in a way. Through a truncated retelling of the first movie, you see a recap of the previous movie. You don’t see the friends or Ash’s sister, it’s only Ash and Linda. You get the very basic beats from the previous movie, but only the beats that involve Ash. After the opening, you see Professor Knowby’s daughter at an airfield. She is greeted by her research partner there and brought to the cabin by a local and his girlfriend. While that happens, Ash is tortured by the entity, both physically and mentally. He also loses his right hand after it is possessed. Annie Knowby brought the missing pages on the book. They arrive at the cabin and think that Ash has done something to the Knowbys. They throw him in the cellar, he is quickly grabbed from it when Henrietta is awakened. Everyone but Annie and Ash are either possessed or killed. Annie is eventually able to use the missing pages to make the entity flesh after helping Ash outfit himself with weapons. Annie is killed while reciting the passage to send the evil back in time. Ash is sent back and is hailed as the hero from the sky. Once again this has been a terrible synopsis, but I cannot implore you enough to watch this movie if you haven’t already.
The special effects in Evil Dead 2 still look pretty good 30ish years later. The early visual effects look pretty good even though they look dated, but still pretty good. The redesigned book and dagger look like they belong together. The book redesign really stands out because it looks more like a book, rather than the original design where it just kinda looks like a lump. The demons have a more singular look and the look is a bit more of a change than in the previous movie. The production design is great. They did an amazing job at recreating the cabin from the previous movie. Joseph LoDuca is back and his score is just as good as the previous one.
There is a reason why Evil Dead 2 is considered a classic. It is a great mixture of the splatter horror from the first movie while adding comedic elements. All of it is added together with a bigger budget and improved directing ability is the mixture for a classic horror movie. Evil Dead 2 is available on HBO Max. I will give it 10 evil books out of 10.