The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness form one of the greatest trilogies of all time. They encapsulate a certain 80s zaniness, the bizarre and the baroque, full of blood and guts and, yes, sometimes real horror, but driven along with a wry wit all their own. With Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, you kind of know what you’re getting into. They’re technically horror movies, it’s true, but horror movies in the same sense that Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Cabin in the Woods are horror movies. All have the same wink-wink nudge-nudge that lend the films a quality beyond your typical genre fair. They are gory, but it’s cartoonish gore, which fits in perfectly with the subversive, comedic tone they all have. I say subversive because without a doubt they all work as horror movies, but horror movies that go beyond the norm and bring genuinely fresh ideas to the table.
It has been 32 years since the original movie, and everything else under the sun has been rebooted or remade. We’ve had Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, and now somebody has decided it was time for Evil Dead to rise again. The same trifecta of Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, and Robert Tapert, who went into the woods with $90,000 in their pockets and emerged with the first Evil Dead have grown up and now share a producer credit, while newcomer Fede Alvarez is given directing duties this time around.