Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn. (The Horrors of Halloween Part III)

And FINALLY we're onto the good stuff, Its finally time to move away from poorly conceived cross-overs and so-so sequels and onto a perfect example of Halloween Horror entertainment, Yes ladies and gentlemen the time has come to review "Evil Dead 2"

Directed by Sam Raimi and Staring B-Movie King Bruce Campbell "The Evil Dead" was a labor of love that resulted from nothing but hard work and dedication, It was created on a next to nothing budget by inexperienced actors and director who had found success with a short prototype (Within The Woods) and decided to up their game.
The film would have undoubtedly not done as well as it did if it weren't for horror legend Steven King who claimed that it was  "The most ferociously original horror film of the year" helping the film reach a wider audience.
So as the film did better that anyone (including the creators) could have anticipated a sequel was given the go ahead with a much larger budget (Once again largely thanks to Steven King - such a nice man) allowing a young Sam Raimi to retell a simpler version of the original story while expanding upon the universe.

Ash J. Williams (Bruce Campbell) takes his girlfriend Linda up to a cabin in the mountains as part of a romantic getaway, unfortunately an ancient evil is released that
possesses Linda and traps Ash in the cabin, With no way to escape Ash has to attempt to survive as long as he can, but it soon becomes clear that it is not just the horrors outside the cabin that he has to contend with as he slowly begins losing his grip on his sanity.

So the story is pretty basic with the premise of "Man trapped in cabin by evil forces" but as far as horror films go often an overly complicated story simply doesn't fit the genre and distracts from the scares, this film serves to make the best use out of its premise with the cabin seeming as dark inside as out creating a great background environment with a menacing atmosphere and sees Ash dismembering himself long before "Saw" made it cool.

As briefly mentioned in my "Event Horizon" review great horror is not always required to come from external threats and enemies, great tension and horror can often be drawn from the mental state of the protagonist and can be a far more effective tool at creating fear. This film is another perfect example of this since in my opinion the few sequences in which Ash's imagination runs amok causing surreal hallucinations such as his own reflection literally jumping out of the mirror to question his sanity and a room full of inanimate object such as lamps, clocks and a very creepy deer head coming to life and madly laughing at him are the best moments of the film as well as serving to create a rift between the audience and the character as it becomes harder to imagine just what Ash is going through, as well as causing the audience to question whether or not what they are seeing in later scenes is actually happening or if it is simply losing it.

The film switches between horror and slapstick with many of the more horrific moments being countered by comic violence that strangely balances the action and prevents the film from becoming far to dark, this is expanded upon in the sequel "Army of Darkness" but doesn't feel as well balanced as in this installment.

We Need You! For Our Undead Horde. 
The possession cam (in which characters are chased by an unseen force from the pursuers perspective) is brilliant with the presence seeming menacing and evil simply through a first person shot and some creepy sound effects, resulting in a great sequence in which the unseen force pursues Ash as he attempts to out run it in the Oldsmobile (The car that appears in almost all of Sam Raimi's films) which is almost nail bitingly tense.

The acting is strong throughout with a great performance coming from Bruce Campbell (as always) who is brilliant at portraying Ash as he struggles with the strain of the situation and his slow descent toward madness.
The rest of the cast are strong in there specific roles but there roles rarely evolve beyond solely being bodies to be possessed,  but this does create interesting reactions from characters who find those they care about the most suddenly possessed.
Also this film features the greatest over the top blood spatter scenes ever, with blood exploding from corpses and even walls drenching characters from head to toe in red.

Got to 'Hand' It To Him.
The final act shows a real increase in passing and a step up in the action that seems to brilliantly portray the worsening situation and even though I wont spoil the ending I will simply it is the greatest inconclusive twist ending since "Back to the Future: part 2".
So all in this is a brilliant movie and deserving sits pretty in my top ten list. So I strongly advise checking this out instead of any of the trash being released this Halloween because I promise that it will not disappoint.

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