Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic 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: Jamie Graham
    Feb 8, 2013
    Shot on 16mm for less than $50,000, Sam Raimi's visceral debut remains a benchmark of modern horror. Plot and acting are minimal - five stooges inadvertently awaken demonic forces - but then this isn't about intellect or intricacy: it's about intensity and intestines. [1 Oct 2001]
  5. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Feb 8, 2013
    While injecting considerable black humor, neophyte Detroit-based writer-director Sam Raimi maintains suspense and a nightmarish mood in between the showy outbursts of special effects gore and graphic violence which are staples of modern horror pictures.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Feb 8, 2013
    Raimi's script is riotously deadpan, his compositions undeniably breathtaking and inventive. [6 March 2002]
  8. 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.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Feb 8, 2013
    Although idiotic, The Evil Dead at least is propelled by energy and enthusiasm. It's scarier than many a more pretentious effort, and not everything in it is borrowed. [8 Oct 1983, p.Arts1]
  10. 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]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Nov 23, 2014
    Evil Dead is one of the best horror movies ever made. It revolutionized the horror genre from here on out and is just as scary now as it ever was. Its too bad the other films are not as strong as the first. Full Review »
  2. Oct 13, 2014
    Some 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. Full Review »
  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. Full Review »