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

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Universal acclaim- based on 72 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.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Feb 8, 2013
    Unquestionalby it's an instant classic, probably the grisliest well-made movie ever. [26 May 1983]
  2. Reviewed by: Zack Handlen
    Feb 8, 2013
    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
    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
    Raimi's script is riotously deadpan, his compositions undeniably breathtaking and inventive. [6 March 2002]
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 8, 2013
    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
    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. Reviewed by: Rick Lyman
    Feb 8, 2013
    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: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Nov 1, 2013
    Evil Dead is a movie that truly makes you afraid of the woods. This movie has awesome scares, gore, and effects, though I don't see the laughs... Full Review Coming Soon. Expand
  2. Apr 8, 2014
    "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
  3. Sep 3, 2014
    "The Evil Dead" is really one of the greatest horror films I've ever seen. It's scary, over-the-top, and just plain disturbing. The gore is over-the-top, and the film has a very creepy atmosphere. The cinematography is also amazing as well; almost every shot is very beautiful and creepy to look at. I highly recommend it for any horror fan. Expand
  4. Mar 10, 2013
    Ok, 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. Oct 14, 2013
    Nauseating and amusing in equal measure, "Evil Dead" is one horror movie that easily obtains its cult status, managing to surpass even your wildest imagination of gore and visceral violence. This is the first installment of the popular Evil Dead trilogy a low-budget, B-grade gore-fest horror film with the Stephen King quote-tagline: "the ultimate experience in grueling terror." A thinly scripted screenplay becomes a kaleidoscope of skewed camera angles and energetic panache under Raimi’s remarkably assured guidance and direction. His debut might be short on budget, but it’s hardly bereft of ideas or spirit.

    Five Michigan State University students spend the weekend in a remote Tennessee cabin, and inadvertently unleash dormant, demonic, evil spirits. In the cellar of the cabin, they find an archaeologist's tape-recording describing the contents of the Naturon Demonto (Book of the Dead). Unaware they are unleashing demonic forces one by one they must fight off evil spirits, and avoid becoming demoniacally possessed.

    It’s obvious that Raimi takes great pleasure in all of his demented material, and he’s eager to share it with an audience that’s left equally shocked and thrilled. "The Evil Dead" is much more of a straight horror movie than its successors, but it’s no less fun. Heads and arms are frequently severed, but it's all done in such a fun spirit, and in a over-the-top manner that it's difficult not to grin. "The Evil Dead" is at times genuinely creepy, due in part to the imaginative camera-work devised by Sam Raimi, and cinematographer Tim Philo. The "shaky cam" (in which the camera gave us the point-of-view of the demon rushing through the woods), became a staple of the Evil Dead series. Raimi and company empty the tank of all its gore, make-up, camera, and stop-motion tricks into an unforgettable, resounding success of entrepreneurial filmmaking.
  6. Apr 22, 2013
    Forgetting that it's an older film with poor special effects this is actually a surprisingly good film I found very entertaining. Main reason why I saw it was to prepare myself for the remake that's coming out so I now know the story, and what a great story it is! A little corny, of course, but done in the right amount that makes it work, and the characters are great, Ash in particular. It got a little odd towards the end but overall I was impressed and certainly entertained. Expand
  7. May 7, 2013
    Less easily impressed audience members will find themselves wanting to beat this film relentlessly until the maniacal laughing stops.

See all 20 User Reviews