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Evil Dead 2 - Blu-ray Review

Evil Dead 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SAM Raimi’s follow-up to Evil Dead is one of those few occasions where the sequel, arguably, surpasses the original in terms of quality and enjoyment.

Demented to the point of absurd, this is both blood-spattered and hilarious, combining horror with slapstick comedy to deft effect. Admittedly, the film’s ability to be treated as a serious horror film is blunted by the comedic aspects. But you’ll be having too much fun to really notice or care.

The story follows Ash (Bruce Campbell) as he returns to the fateful cabin in the woods only to be attacked once more by the evil spirits within.

On this occasion, though, it’s solely Ash and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) who first travel out. But once Linda becomes possessed and Ash finds his own hand controlled by a demonic entity (yes, you read that right), he’s also joined by a professor’s daughter Annie (Sarah Berry), her partner Ed Getley (Richard Domeier) and a pair of local rednecks, Jake (Dan Hicks) and Bobbie Joe (Kassie Wesley), who all find themselves doomed to suffer all manner of unpleasantness.

Having genuinely shocked and chilled with the first film in the series, Raimi here goes for broke in terms of pacing, gore and comedy. Indeed, even his directorial style seems jacked up on its own excitement, offering disorientating camera angles and an almost frenzied approach to the mayhem.

And make no mistake, this is a sequel that’s positively drenched in gruesome effects but which offsets the terror by moments of pure slapstick comedy that alleviate the tension and are likely to have you laughing out loud.

And a lot of the credit for this has to go to Campbell, whose manic performance is a real highlight. It’s easy to see why, from this point onwards, the actor could command a special kind of cool in the place of cinema-goers’ hearts.

The only real niggle in the film’s overall enjoyment is the final act, which sets things up for a third film in the series that, once again, took things in a different (but ultimately much less successful) direction.

That quibble aside, Evil Dead 2 is a riot. And all the more so on crystal clear Blu-ray to accentuate that splatter.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 84mins
UK Blu-ray Release: April 15, 2013