Sam Raimi’s 1981 Cabin Horror Classic diabolical death began a franchise that persists to this day, including but not limited to an upcoming HBO Max film titled Evil Dead Rise.
This film, which stars Raimi star Bruce Campbell and Ash Campbell as executive producers, seeks to bring the franchise back to its horror roots, but even the funniest evil Dead projects are not free from scares. Raimi and Campbell have created one of horror’s most iconic characters and, perhaps, a franchise that can successfully replace him.
5 Army of Darkness (1992)
army of darkness juggles a few genres but favors wacky comedy even more over horror and action than Evil Dead 2.
Raimi’s Trilogy Capper isn’t for everyone, evil Dead fans included, though few would argue that it was the episode that solidified Ash as an icon worthy of a theatrical poster. Either way, it also changes the persona from a perpetual survivor to the exact guy someone wants when a Deadite strikes, which is a tension-lowering presence. Additionally, changing the Medievil times setting also decreases the fear factor. A lonely hut is very different from being surrounded by knights in armor.
4 Ashes vs. Evil Dead (2015-2018)
Besides the introduction of several characters also in the evil Dead video game, Ash vs Evil Dead made a substantial amount for the deductible. Besides the aforementioned game, the Starz series marked the last time Bruce Campbell strapped on the chainsaw as Ash Campbell.
The series is also the best exploration of the character, being one of the few year-end installments in a classic horror franchise that draws on scriptural material for fans in a satisfying and organic way. However, while it strives to be scarier than the original trilogy’s final chapter, it still favors goofy humor and straight guts over legitimate attempts to ruffle hair.
3 Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn was a major departure from the original film in tone if not exactly in terms of aesthetics. Raimi effectively remade his first film with a slightly higher budget and a more confident Campbell in the lead role.
The sequel is where Ash Williams becomes Ash: Legend of Horror. On the one hand, he has a sense of humor that is clearly only Campbell’s personality, and on the other hand, there are the cosmetic changes, most notably in the form of a hand being replaced by a chainsaw. This graphic stupidity persists throughout the film and, although Evil Dead 2 is an effective horror movie, it’s more of an R-rated Looney Brothers. cartoon.
2 Evil Dead 2013)
As a reimagining of one of the best holiday tourist horror movies, Fede Álvarez evil Dead had big shoes to fill. The 2013 film retained the cabin setting of the 1981 rendition, but it changed the cabin’s purpose.
While there’s a fun, loose quality to the vacationing friends vibe of the original film, the reimagining of the cabin’s use as a detox station is brilliant. Mia (Jane Levy) is surrounded by people who want to see nothing more than her sobriety, but their supportive nature gets way more than they bargained for. It packs a punch whenever one of them dies, especially considering how gruesome they die. Plus, Levy’s performance is award-worthy and helps make Mia a real person, just like those around her.
1 The Evil Dead (1981)
A very controversial film when it was released, Raimi’s diabolical death is arguably the most impressive low-budget debut film ever produced. The director, cast and crew were able to create one of the scariest movies of all time when they were mostly in their early twenties, which is only more impressive considering the power of the film, even if its special effects seem a little ridiculous. Even still, the low-budget special effects of their time are scary on their own and help the film’s lingering factor a lot.
The shine of diabolical death is its immediacy. The first of the children to be turned into Deadite, Ash’s sister Cheryl does so in what is arguably the franchise’s scariest moment. Her classmates are playing cards as she sits by the window. She looks away from women, but can guess every card correctly. Then she spins around. Spinning might be seen as nothing more than a jump scare, but it’s much more, a first foray into the grotesquely nightmarish imagery the franchise would provide.
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