The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 159 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods where tape recorded incantations from the Book of the Dead unleash relentless demons that can only be killed by total body dismemberment.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Feb 8, 2013
    100
    Unquestionalby it's an instant classic, probably the grisliest well-made movie ever. [26 May 1983]
  2. Reviewed by: Zack Handlen
    Feb 8, 2013
    83
    Then the carnage comes, and when it does, it delivers on all promises and more, with a parade of gushing wounds, demonic howls, and oceans of gore which approach the line of good taste, toe it, then gleefully dance across. [22 Sept 2010]
  3. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Feb 8, 2013
    80
    Unbound by cinematic convention, Raimi unleashed his free-range camera, and ghoulish, omnipresent sound effects to create a bleak, paranoid atmosphere and a raft of sudden, effective shocks.
  4. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Feb 8, 2013
    75
    Raimi's script is riotously deadpan, his compositions undeniably breathtaking and inventive. [6 March 2002]
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 8, 2013
    75
    The extreme nature of the gore isn't beside the point - it is the point. Raimi goes so far over the top in presenting these displays that they take on a campy, almost humorous appearance. It's impossible to take all this blood seriously. So, instead of being sickened, we're strangely amused - and this is all intentional.
  6. Reviewed by: Pat Graham
    Feb 8, 2013
    70
    The film is ferociously kinetic and full of visual surprises, though its gut-churning reputation doesn't seem fully deserved: if anything the gore is too picturesque and studied, an abstract decorator's mix of oozing, slimy color, like some exotic species of new-wave interior design.
  7. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Rick Lyman
    Feb 8, 2013
    25
    Too bad it's hog-tied by a ridiculously familiar plot, uneven direction and characters of such dizzying simplicity that you wish the demons would get to them just to smack some sense into their heads. [26 Sept 1983, p.D3]

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Apr 8, 2014
    10
    "Bruce Campbell is the greatest chainsaw pyschopath ghost hunter i have ever seen ". Evil Dead is one of the best scariest movies of mankind"Bruce Campbell is the greatest chainsaw pyschopath ghost hunter i have ever seen ". Evil Dead is one of the best scariest movies of mankind there terrifying , brilliant horror movie thanks Sam Raimi for creating the scariest movie in the 80's . Grade A+ Expand
  2. Mar 24, 2016
    10
    Plot/Summary,The nominal plot involves five vacationing college kids -- Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), and theirPlot/Summary,The nominal plot involves five vacationing college kids -- Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), and their classmates Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scott (Hal Delrich) and Shelly (Sarah York) -- making an unplanned stopover in an abandoned mountain cabin surrounded by impenetrable woods. Before settling in for the night, they come across an ancient-looking occult tome filled with dense hieroglyphics and macabre illustrations, a dagger fashioned from human bones, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The taped message, dictated by a professor of archaeology, describes the contents of the Sumerian "Book of the Dead," filled with incantations used to bring otherworldly demons to life, giving them license to possess the living.
    My Review
    It has been called many things great,awesome,best horror,best zombie film, original. And all i have to say is that is a classic that both horror fans and non fans should indeed watch. This is a horror film classic and boy am i glad i saw it. This film starts off as any horror film would, in a place where none of the characters of heard about but claim to have found out from a friend,and unleash evil. This is actually no one of my favorite horror films of all time. I put this at number four . This movie stars Bruce Campbell who plays Ash who gives the best performance out of the whole cast but my second favorite actor in this film is Hal Derich as Scott. This movie is so damn bloody and brutal and great and the atmosphere of this is also pretty amazing. This film is all out fun and a really great horror film but i have one small problem the ending. You get this ending where it's in first person and im guessing something's running to Ash and he screams but you don't know what happens it just ends like that,but hey they might explain in the evil dead 2 and despite my one problem i still give it a 5 out of 5.
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  3. Jun 16, 2014
    10
    This extremely low-budget ($90,000–400,000) movie is undoubtedly a classic work in horror genre, with Bruce Campbell's performance being soThis extremely low-budget ($90,000–400,000) movie is undoubtedly a classic work in horror genre, with Bruce Campbell's performance being so scary and haunting that he is probably the first chainsaw psychopath in the long history of horror flicks. Sam Raimi did a marvelous job that with few characters, and but a small, going-to-the-dogs house, audiences witness what true fear is like, with everything around those young men turning to live demons and trying to make them one of theirs. Compared to many modern stupid, horror-free movies which happened to be considered horror films, The Evil Dead is like Godfather part 1 in horror genre Expand
  4. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    Ok, the actors are terrible (even Bruce Campbell), the special effects are terrible than the actors, but i don't care... Evil Dead isOk, the actors are terrible (even Bruce Campbell), the special effects are terrible than the actors, but i don't care... Evil Dead is ridiculously funny! Expand
  5. Aug 30, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. or the film that kick started the careers of Sam Raimi and Bruce Cambell I can see why. The tone, the fun, the camera-work, all great. It is a scary movie, but the characters are rather likeable especially Bruce Cambell's. The camera work in this movie is so original and just makes it feel that much more original. The practical effects were pretty good and although the stop-motion had a cartoonish quality to it, it still felt like love was put into it. I did find some goofs though, really noticeably. But that aside, the film was gripping and held me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Expand
  6. Oct 13, 2014
    7
    Some of the goriest, sickest, and meanest horror I've ever watched. This blood-soaked movies greatest strength is that you almost never knowSome of the goriest, sickest, and meanest horror I've ever watched. This blood-soaked movies greatest strength is that you almost never know what's coming up next. Something more modern horror movies fail at. It's sets you up for a terrifying ride in the beginning with it's creepy camera angles and slow-building tension, but once things get going I found that it really wasn't a scary movie. At least not in my opinion. Still it's some old-school horror goodness that feels much more fresh than the more modern horror offerings out there today. At the very least it's worth watching for the stomach-churning gore alone. An overall enjoyable and fun horror movie. My total score for it is a 7.3/10. Expand
  7. May 30, 2016
    0
    I'm sorry, i will keep this review short because i do not want to write about this film. 1981's The Evil Dead is by far the worst film i'veI'm sorry, i will keep this review short because i do not want to write about this film. 1981's The Evil Dead is by far the worst film i've seen in months. (I dont watch many bad films, so it doesnt say much, but still)
    I am baffled by the fairly high scores here and on IMDb, i thought this movie was neither funny nor scary at all. (Except the awfully cheap jump scares, which is just a talentless way of scaring the audience) The acting is horrendous and hammy, there is no atmospheric tension, (Halloween is the best example of how atmospheric tension should be done, that movie has barely any blood or kills, but it's 10 times more unsettling and scary than The Evil Dead) the movie scares solely rely on jump scares and gore, which is the worst kind of horror, the plot is extremely simple yet it has so many plot holes, the solution to the film's main problem is abominable, the pacing is poor and so is the structure/ outline of the story. It is cheesy, silly and poorly made, with awful acting and many filming and continuity errors.

    The only things i do have an admiration for are the good makeup and special effects considering the limited budget it had.

    This is the first of the Evil Dead Trilogy (The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness) i've seen, and i want to watch them all, but this did not make me excited to see more.
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See all 26 User Reviews

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