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Poster The Evil Dead, Book of the Dead, Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York, Sam Raimi, The Coen Brothers, NecronomiconEvil Dead: five friends go for a remote, relaxing break at a cabin in the woods… where they accidentally unleash an angry daemon. So I’ve seen this film about ten times, yet it still gives me the willies: from the outset there’s a lot of weird, floaty camera movement as it sweeps through the woods; something spooky or shifty happens about every 2 minutes; and you couldn’t have picked a more eerie set of locations: rickety house, basement, woods. The film’s packed with masterful moments of suspense, and the old school horror soundtrack gives it a timeless quality – screeching strings. There’s a few funny bits (and black humour thread throughout), but it’s definitely more horror than comedy. Whilst Bruce Campbell isn’t the best actor in the world, his presence is something else. The film builds towards a gore filed gory gore-fest of an ending – that will satisfy the hardest of horror fans. Essentially a B-movie, made on a shoestring budget; it has more than enough going on to totally distract you from the fact that it’s so cheap and brimming with continuity errors. The Evil Dead has more atmosphere, tension and impact than 20 empty, modern, derivative horror knockoffs. Proper horror cult classic.

Score: 9/10

The Evil Dead, Book of the Dead, Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York, Sam Raimi, The Coen Brothers, Necronomicon

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Drag Me To Hell: An everywoman accidentally insults a gypsy – cue an ancient curse and impending doom for our gal. The five minute prologue is totally old school; OTT music, effects and a huge-ass demon. Fortunately, the entire film stays in this vein, and what I liked best was that while there is the odd big jump the rest of the frights come from good old-fashioned sources; wind, leaves, squeaks and creaks – no wet long-haired lizard women rattling down staircases or other such gimmicks. While it’s Genuinely terrifying this also has some subtly funny motifs like the face-fucking/hair-grabbing corpse, funeral, Goat, Dancing Ghost and even the ridiculous gross outs. There’s the best use of a stapler & ruler I’ve ever seen and a pretty sweet, but obvious, ending. Raimi’s direction is great, really proving he’s a pro by milking every drop of suspense and terror, yet making it fun and watchable – all while he’s pretty much parodying an entire genre. Drag Me to Hell effortlessly walks the line between comedy-stire and terror and I’ve not enjoyed a horror film this much in years. Classic Raimi. Classic horror. Instant Classic, just add blood.

Score: 8/10