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Group of young people, weekend out in the countryside, cottage in the woods, mysterious book and tape discovered. Do I need to say no more?

This is the classical setting for the demons to come in, and they do come with a surprising amount of humour, especially when the last girl (forgive me if I do not remember any of the characters’ names) turns into a hysterically giggling girl-demon. Sam Raimi invented a certain type of splatter-comedy that still survives today, the special effects wizards around him had plenty of stuff to splatter to the walls and into the actors’ faces, and the public controversy (and PR) was guaranteed when the decision was made that – yes – that ivy branch should rape the girl, and maybe she should like it a bit.

The film’s virtue today is more one of nostalgia, and of movie trivia in the way that a strange path leads from here to Army of Darkness years later, which properly plays the comedy card. “Evil Dead”‘s main contribution may be that it never decides whether to be horror or comedy, which makes it more disturbing. Still fun to watch if you don’t mind all these mutilations.

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