Evil Dead 2 is not so much of a continuation of The Evil Dead, but rather more of a remake of the original on a higher budget with better effects and more humor. The first fifteen minutes feels like “been there, done that” but the moment Ash survives the first night, whereas the first movie covered one entire night, things change… for the better.
Evil Dead 2 has the same story line as the first movie: people go to a remote cabin, find a tape recorder which belongs to a researcher talking on his tapes about the book of the dead and the people inside the cabin come under attack of certain dark forces which have the ability to take over people’s bodies.
While the first movie was a gritty serious splatter fest which included the rape of a woman by a tree, this movie has a more lighthearted tone while not skipping on the gore. This is a movie that has a corpse running around headless with a chainsaw sow you can probably guess it’s pretty much full of buckets with red liquids. So much red liquids they even generate continuity errors as characters are sprayed all over one moment and are relatively clean the next.
I like this movie better than the original. I was never that fond of those gritty 70’s horror movies which have a non-stop sense of dread running throughout the movie until the closing credits. Movies don’t always need to have a happy ending, but there must always be some growth with the lead character(s). The first movie lacked that a bit and Evil Dead 2 compensates that by having Ash turn fully bad ass (or should I say Bad Ash?) in the third act as he equips himself with his now trademark chainsaw and sawed of shotgun. It’s that moment the one-liners come in and the tone slowly shifts from splatter horror to a more action oriented movie. A shift which will be continued in the final part of this trilogy.
Evil Dead 2 has some brilliant moments and rather decent special effects, all of them practical, which in case of some stop-motion look dated. It’s something that comes with watching 30 year old movies, and I have no problem with but can be off-putting to younger viewers.