Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
Watch On
  1. 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: Jamie Graham
    Feb 8, 2013
    80
    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
    80
    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
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Feb 8, 2013
    75
    Raimi's script is riotously deadpan, his compositions undeniably breathtaking and inventive. [6 March 2002]
  8. 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.
  9. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Feb 8, 2013
    50
    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
    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]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Mar 9, 2015
    7
    I thought this film was awesome and a great creative horror, but i didn't see it as highly rated as it is. Sam Raimi did an exceptional jobI thought this film was awesome and a great creative horror, but i didn't see it as highly rated as it is. Sam Raimi did an exceptional job making a great horror film with unique scares and some absolutely brilliant direction to create some interesting scares and amazing suspense. However the actors and dialogue seemed a bit bad, but the one weird thing with the acting was when they were all together it looked really bad but when you had someone acting by them selves on the scene they actually did a really good job. The effects haven't aged well and that may take a tint bit away from the viewing experience but overall it's a brilliant horror film. One to pick up for sure but one that when it came out would probably have been received better. I'd give it a 7.5 overall. Full Review »
  2. Dec 19, 2014
    10
    The Evil Dead is my favorite horror movie ever, and one of my favorite movies ever. The film was shot on a shoestring budget, and it shows.The Evil Dead is my favorite horror movie ever, and one of my favorite movies ever. The film was shot on a shoestring budget, and it shows. However, it's obvious that Sam Raimi did everything he possibly could with the small budget. The cinematography is ingenious and rivals that of Alfred Hitchcock's films in its ability to unnerve and unsettle. Also like Hitchcock, Mr. Raimi has the ability to create unbearable suspense. The movie is at once very humorous and very frightening. A lot of my friends who have seen it have dismissed it as humorous and not scary. I disagree though: it contains some truly shocking scenes and, if you suspend your disbelief and let it carry you away, it is seriously frightening. Full Review »
  3. Nov 23, 2014
    9
    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 everEvil 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 »