Monday Movie: Evil Dead 2
An isolated rural cabin seems like the perfect romantic getaway for Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda - but little do they know that the absent occupants had been dabbling in the occult. When Linda is possessed by a Kandarian demon, Ash (perhaps a bit too readily) decapitates her with a shovel and buries the body. And this is only the start of his ordeal. By the time relatives of the cabin's owners arrive to discover the blood-soaked, unhinged man barricaded inside, it may not be easy for them to accept where the real danger lies...
The first thing that's apparent about Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn is the bold and dynamic direction from Sam Raimi, readily lifting this otherwise shaky and low budget film above its B-movie roots. The next thing you'll notice is just how damn funny and scary the film manages to be, often at the same time. The scares come from meticulously crafted shocks and a relentlessly sinister atmosphere. The comedy comes from the slapstick violence, and the absurd situations that develop - both probably exemplified by the sequence in which Ash fights his own possessed hand, before severing it with a chainsaw... at which point he's then forced into a game of cat and mouse with the now independent appendage.
And for all that the film could be claimed to boil down to making you jump out of your seat and split your sides laughing, it does still continue to maintain its atmosphere throughout, constructing a Lovecraft-style mythology of its own, and brutally but steadily fashioning Ash into an iconic horror hero. Add to all that one of my all-time favourite endings to a film, and you've got one heck of a cinematic experience - if you can stomach it.