This file was generated 2002-06-09 04:23 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-02-23.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> February 2002 >> The Evil Dead
I fall all-too-often into the trap of picking a movie by its length. By the time of night I typically start watching, a 150-minute film is going to be wasted on me. Thus did I elect to endure The Evil Dead, made desirable solely by its eighty-five minute running time. I've watched some bad films and emerged a better person for the experience, or at least had fun with the mocking. If I can pin blame squarely on someone else for having selected the movie, it's significantly less likely that I'll be too upset at having wasted the time. This time, I'm the most guilty party, but I want those eighty-five minutes back!
The Evil Dead is packed with ruthlessly effective jump scenes and ludicrously-overdone gore. I know that appeals to a certain audience, but I prefer my scares to be a bit more cerebral. I've really enjoyed psychological assaults like The Shining or even The Blair Witch Project, but the painfully stupid writing of Evil Dead is intolerable. I can accept that something supernatural is going on, but the details of what is happening are wildly inconsistent. The undead seem to be able to infect their victims with the slightest injury, yet the main character endures many direct assaults without ever being tainted. Even more peculiar, the undead are constantly imploring Ash to join them. How his free will plays any part in them killing him is a mystery to me. Since no amount of punishment can keep the baddies from springing back up, there's little point in watching Ash's constant attempts to beat them down.
Perhaps Evil Dead's greatest offense, though, is being a pre- Scream horror film. The characters are unforgivably stupid in their approach to escaping the horrors of their environment. They always stand too close to the window, even after the window has been adequately demonstrated to be a dangerous place. They often go outside to investigate strange noises without alerting their friends to the plan. They also have a nasty habit of sneaking up on their cohorts quietly, so as to maximize their chances of killing each other. The possessed also have some bizarre protocol governing when they can attack. The trapped one is always trying to attack while a free one favors sitting in a doorway cackling with nothing holding her back. This sort of senseless silliness bores me to no end, and I hope to never seen anything like it again.