Evil Dead II is the second installment in Sam Raimi’s infamous cult series of horror and comedy films, arguably the best in his full lineup: Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness. Essentially a re-imagining of the first film rather than a sequel, Evil Dead II cuts back on the straightforward horror completely permeating the original (but certainly doesn’t skimp on the gore) to deliver heavy doses of slapstick comedy.
Once again, we watch our hero Ash, no-nonsense, tough as nails, played by the cult B-movie icon Bruce Campbell, in his fight for survival against the evil forces unleashed by the Necronomicon, the book of the dead. Sparing the spoilers, Ash deals with manifested monstrosities, possession, and all manner of supernatural destruction in a lonely, mysterious woodland cabin.
The plot is grim and morbid seen alone, but the film’s comedic deliverance creates a darkly hilarious feel that can still be appreciated by hardcore horror fans (unlike the original Evil Dead, which was strictly horror and void of comedy). Evil Dead II is the kind of horror film with plenty of scares and plenty of laughs; the two are not mutually exclusive, but require just the right elements to pull off. Ash must deal with an immense amount of terror, and in the process shows he is cool and collected, laughing in the face of evil, warranting our appreciation as we watch the movie online and laugh alongside him.
Aesthetically, Evil Dead II is entirely a horror film, facing the viewer with suspense, terror, and gore. On the other hand, these suspenseful, terrifying, and gory aspects are dealt with in a humorous way much of the time (I recall a classic scene where Ash is slapped around by his possessed hand). All in all, Evil Dead II is the perfect choice for a fun yet satisfying horror experience that won’t keep you awake at night.