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The Evil Dead Blu-ray Review


“The Evil Dead” is a horror classic.

The story in a nutshell: 5 college students/friends stay at a cabin in the woods and accidentally awaken demonic spirits upon playing a tape containing a cantation from The Book Of The Dead.

What else is there to say about “The Evil Dead” that hasn’t already been said? It’s easily one of the best horror films ever made. The film does everything right. The story grabs your attention from the first point of view shot, Bruce Campbell’s Ash character is a likeable lead, the demonic possession scenes are creepy, the film accomplishes so much with such a low budget, and the movie is filled with so much multi-colored blood and guts that it will please any gorehound. The real star of the film, however, is director Sam Raimi. To me, it’s his creative, crazy direction that makes the film stand out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is some of the best direction I’ve ever seen to this day. From the tracking shots to the wild point of view shots, his direction sucks you into the film. What makes it so spellbinding is that he manages to create a moody and atmospheric horror film WITHOUT showing so much. The real horror is lingering behind the camera. Sure, you can argue there are flaws in his work, but you have to remember that this is a low budget indie film. This isn’t a big budget Hollywood flick.

Summary: Some fans prefer the comedic stylings of the second and third films, but I don’t think it gets any better than the straight horror style of the first film. Even if you already have one or more editions of “The Evil Dead” DVD, it is definitely worth upgrading to Blu-ray. Buy it now.  


In a great move by Anchor Bay, viewers have the option of watching the film in 1.85:1 widescreen 1080p or the original 1.33:1 1080p fullscreen. Honestly, both versions are superb. “Evil Dead” has (and probably never will) look better than this. I was really taken back by how crisp and clear the lighting appeared. The original fullscreen version is undoubtedly the way purists will want to watch it, but the widescreen version definitely has more scope. I noticed several background things that I had never seen before in watching the fullscreen version.

Dolby TrueHD 5.1  From the chants of “Join us,” to the music, this is a flat-out wonderful audio track. I heard sound f/x and music notes that I never noticed in watching previous DVD editions.  

On the Blu-ray disc, extras include Anchor Bay trailers and a new commentary by Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and the Chin himself- Bruce Campbell. Raimi and Tapert are quite talkative as they chat about fun facts about “Evil Dead” and talk about how they got the film made. Bruce Campbell shows up later in the track and livens things up.

The one disappointing thing about this set is that the majority of the extras aren’t on the Blu-ray disc. Instead they are on a special bonus DVD. The extras included are a photo/poster gallery, an “Evil Dead” trailer and 4 TV spots, a make-up test, footage of the other pages of “The Book Of The Dead” that weren’t shown in the film, an enjoyable roundtable discussion of sorts about conventions from the “Evil Dead” cast, a cast/crew Q&A from a drive-in screening, a lively reunion panel from a 2005 Chicago convention, a featurette about how people came across “Evil Dead” titled “Discovering Evil Dead,” a discussion between the ladies of “Evil Dead” and Bruce Campbell, some cool cutting room floor scenes, a featurette that contains behind-the-scenes footage and information, conversations about Sam Raimi and how the film got made. Interviews with the likes of Eli Roth, Edgar Wright, Joe Bob Briggs, etc. are included.

September 6, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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