Evil Dead II (1987)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
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Overall Rating 80%
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Ranked #907
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Connections: The Evil Dead

Ash Williams and his girlfriend Linda find a log cabin in the woods with a voice recording from an archaeologist who had recorded himself reciting ancient chants from "The Book of the Dead." As they play the recording an evil power is unleashed taking over Linda's body. --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: July 04, 2004
The movie starts out with a very condensed recap of the first movie, which has been completely reshot and slightly rewritten for this sequel. This movie then picks up right from the closing moments of the original movie and goes from there. After being assaulted in the woods by the demon, Ash returns to the cabin and takes refuge, but this rinky-dink little cabin is no match for the demons that are after him. Meanwhile, Annie, the daughter of the man on the infamous tape-recorder from the first movie, has found some of the missing pages from the necronomicon, and plans to visit her father out in the cabin. She makes her way out there with her partner Ed, only to find the bridge demolished. They meet up with a pair of local rednecks (Jake and Bobbie Joe) who offer to show them a trail through the woods that leads to the cabin. When they finally arrive to the cabin and meet up with Ash, all sorts of hell breaks loose.

This movie was a great middle-ground for the trilogy, as it keeps most of the good horror aspects of the original, but also starts to bring in some of the humour found in "Army Of Darkness". This wasn't another attempt at a straight-out horror film, but it also wasn't the complete black comedy that the third movie ended up being. In keeping that nice balance, it doesn't come off feeling like a repeat of the original, nor does Army feel like a rehash of this one. Also, not too many sequels of movies pick up directly where its predecessor left off (this starts directly where Evil Dead ended, Army Of Darkness starts right where this finishes), and that was a very nice touch to keep the storyline flowing through three movies. Speaking of that storyline, it once again stays pretty basic... Ash is trapped in the cabin, joined by the kids who came out to visit Annie's father, and they have to fight the demons off in order to survive until dawn. The simplicity of the storyline works out nicely, as I could think of quite a few other directors who would have tried to throw some silly subplots or romance angles in here, which would have fucked everything up.

Then, there's the demons involved within the film. They're much more varied here than in Evil Dead, as it doesn't focus solely on possessing the people in the cabin. We now have the witch in the cellar, the return of the vines, a killer tree, and some other surprises to be found throughout. Not only do the humans get possessed here, but so does furniture and a mounted deer-head on the wall. I can't quite decide whether a killing deer-head would be overly silly or completely awesome, but since it and the furniture only served to drive Ash further into insanity, I suppose we won't find out. That was definitely one of the better scenes here, as it was very well shot and put together.

Another great thing about this film is the little things that add up to a better viewing experience. The camera-work and editing are really quite excellent, and pretty unique. The scenes with the jerky, rushing camera views returns from the original, as well as some other tricks left exclusive to this entry in the series. There's also some great lighting effects in a few scenes, especially when the sole light bulb becomes covered in blood and turns the entire room into a shade of deep crimson. These little things aren't involved with the actual storyline at all, nor do they serve any purpose other than eye-candy... but damned if they don't make things that much more interesting.

Overall, if you enjoyed either of the other two films in this series, you'd enjoy this one as well. It doesn't suffer from the sequel-sucks syndrome, it sticks to the same basic storyline and doesn't journey out into some crazy new stuff, but is also original enough to still be enjoyable. 10/10 from myself.
Schillinger #1: Schillinger - added 08/25/2004, 09:24 AM
Excellent film. It has the same basic plot elements of the last one, except part 2 improves on it in every way. The small touch of comedy didn't hurt either.
spookychild #2: spookychild - added 09/12/2004, 12:38 AM
Alright, i think this movie is a classic, its one of the best horror/dark comedies around. But, i think the first one is a little bit better, just darker and more frightening, anyway there both perfect in my book though
dadarulz #3: dadarulz - added 05/22/2005, 04:36 AM
My all time classic. Much better than the first one that took it too seriously and left a sour taste in my mouth with that deranging three-rape scene... Raimi made the right decision by reaching a great balance between horror and comedy, with outsanding camera work and sound editing. The laughing deer scene, the posessed hand scene, and this great huming Evil roar that impresses me every time. Aw, but I'm getting too sensitive here...
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 05/26/2005, 06:59 PM
This film will go down as a classic, no doubts about it. Pure genius.
Ginose #5: Ginose - added 09/09/2005, 05:47 PM
This is where the comedy begins! The gore stays 1st though and the horror aspects were still very fresh. Army of Darkness was my favorite of the series. Still, this one has it's place on my list.
Dametria #6: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 11:33 AM
Its the first movie done better, thats all there is to it.
Shakes #7: Shakes - added 01/22/2009, 01:16 PM
Lucid Dreams #8: Lucid Dreams - added 05/30/2010, 09:48 PM
This is probably my favorite out of the series. 10/10
Rest Easy Soul #9: Rest Easy Soul - added 07/25/2010, 11:05 AM
Remake or not a remake this movie is epic. I like it better than the first simply because of one scene.. The effing dear head.
Crispy #10: Crispy - added 01/27/2011, 01:12 AM
yeah I'd call this more of a remake than a sequel, but I couldn't tell you which I liked better. Like the first two Alien movies, they're too different to compare, but they both manage to be absolutely amazing.
era68 #11: era68 - added 12/16/2011, 09:53 AM
The film that awakened my love for the genre. Perfect blend of comedy and gore. Thank you Sam, Bruce and Rob.
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