The first installment of the Evil Dead trilogy is easily the most gruesome and serious of the three. Some college students head to a remote cabin and unwittingly release demons into the woods by playing a tape. Ash's sister Cheryl is the first to notice that something isn't quite right, and of course this is confirmed when the forest itself attacks her. After begging Ash to take her home, the two get in the car only to find the bridge is out.
They get back to the cabin, and Cheryl gets possessed and stabs Linda in the ankle with a pencil. They lock Cheryl in the basement, mistakenly thinking that will keep things under control. Before the night is up, everyone but Ash gets possessed and dies at the hands of their friends, and in generally there is a lot of gory mayhem (especially involving Shelly!). There's shovel decapitation, ax-dismemberment, eyeball popping, arm chewing...
It's a pretty straighforward horror movie of demonic possession. Unlike its sequels, there's no comic relief to be found in this film. The pacing is good, the camera work great, the gore and makeup effects just as gross as you'd want them. In case you've been living under a rock and haven't seen this, run to the video store now.
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