When The Evil Dead was first released 40 years ago, very few could have predicted that it would become the classic of horror cinema that it is today. The creation of three childhood friends – Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell – the iconic low-budget passion project has since gone on to build its very own media empire of sorts, with sequels, a TV show, comics, video games and even a musical being created within its wacky horror universe.
In this Halloween edition of Ranked, we at The Film Magazine are taking a look at the four movies of the Evil Dead franchise, from Sam Raimi’s 1981 original The Evil Dead to 2013’s soft reboot/continuation Evil Dead, and ranking each movie from worst to best in terms of gore, catchphrases and of course the quality of the films themselves.
4. Evil Dead (2013)
Fede Álvarez’s 2013 entry into the Evil Dead universe was met with mixed reviews from both fans and critics, and has continued to split audiences to this day. The more gritty, serious take on what is an overly camp, silly and over-the-top franchise was, predictably, jarring to fans of the series. In the fans’ defence, Álvarez produced a blend of campy and overly serious that could be jarring at the best of times and laughable at the worst.
Even so, the story revolving around a drug addict trying to get clean in the famous cabin of the original Evil Dead film was a brilliant idea and Álvarez did deliver some truly disturbing moments that will make your stomach churn.
Though Evil Dead (2013) is not a perfect addition to the Evil Dead series there are more than enough aspects within the movie to admire, even if they are sullied by the film’s not so great aspects. Evil Dead is definitely worth a watch, even if just to experience a more serious take on the famous story.
3. Army of Darkness (1992)
When it comes to the original Evil Dead trilogy, it’s difficult to rank each film due to the fact that they’re all so different and every fan of the series has their own unique opinion on which film is best and why.
Army of Darkness is, without a doubt, the most over the top, campy and silly movie of the series and, due to this, is perhaps the best representation of what the quadrilogy is all about: witty one liners, catchphrases, general craziness, and an iconic action hero in Ash Williams. After all, what other horror films are revolving around time travel?
For the most part, the Middle Ages setting allows for an incredibly fun and unique feature, with balls to the wall set pieces such as the unforgettable Good Ash vs Evil Ash showdown and mini Ash’s attack on regular Ash.
Army of Darkness’ main issue is its pacing, but it is so fun that it’s truly very difficult to notice. And, with a performance by Bruce Campbell that is undeniably his best in the role, there’s plenty to remember about this iconic third instalment.
Army of Darkness is a damn good, ridiculously fun time. For first time watchers of the movies, Army of Darkness is essentially the perfect introduction that is almost certain to create an Evil Dead fan.