The Evil Dead (1981)

the evil dead poster 1981 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Intense, non-stop action

Low budget sometime shows

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Evil Dead

Studio: Renaissance Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): October 15, 1981

MPAA Rating: R


A group of young horny teenagers in a cabin in the woods? What could go wrong?

A group of friends go to an isolated cabin in the woods and play a recording from the Sumerian Book of the Dead.  This accidentally releases an unseen evil and no one is safe when the evil comes for them.

Directed by Sam Raimi and made at an ultra-low budget (about $400,000), Raimi raised money for The Evil Dead by making a short called Within the Woods.  Raimi used Within the Woods to get backers for The Evil Dead and managed to turn it into a full length feature, which has gained cult success over the years and often is listed as one of the best horror films of all time.


No one ever invites me to parties!

The first Evil Dead is much more horror than its sequels.  What is surprising about the Evil Dead is how inventive Raimi is with his camera work and shooting.  The Evil is unseen but always seems to be a force in the movie.  The camera work is fast and furious and has very aggressive editing.  All of that makes “the Evil” almost another character in the movie despite never being seen (or for that matter ever really explained…the Evil seems to attack rather randomly).

The Evil Dead also is quite gory.  Tons of blood and some really extreme scenes make the movie sometimes difficult to watch (part 2 does lighten up the plot).  One of the big controversial scenes involves a girl being raped by the woods themselves (and allegedly Raimi has said he regrets having included the scene).


I have to live…I’m needed for the sequel!

The first Evil Dead has Bruce Campbell but he doesn’t really take charge of the “Ash” role that he has become famous for until the sequels.  Acting wise, the actors seemed to realize they weren’t up to the level of the drama needed for certain scenes so the movie almost takes a melodramatic turn to make the acting over the top.

The Evil Dead is a must for horror fans.  The inventive and relentless nature of the film is seen in horror film that followed and shows the style of Sam Raimi early on.  Raimi followed The Evil Dead with a sequel which is actually more of a remake in Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn in 1987, but another quasi-remake of the film just called Evil Dead was released in 2013.

Related Links:

Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn (1987)

Army of Darkness (1992)

Evil Dead (2013)

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response