Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II ★★★★★

An unparalleled work of cinematic exuberance that finds Raimi exhausting just about every cinematic technique imaginable to craft a wickedly comic sequel/pseudo-remake that somehow still retains the atmosphere of menace the original Evil Dead managed to conjure. This remains a staggering display of big-picture filmmaking, the comedy and horror intertwined in a way that never feels cheap or disingenuous. This is a master class in tonal management, as marvelous for what was conjured in the moment on-set - the performances are uniformly rock solid all around, with Campbell delivering an all-timer - as for what was assembled after-the-fact - the editing is almost supernaturally organic, and the special effects work remains both expertly functional and wildly imaginative throughout.

So basically, this is a masterpiece. I grow weary of hurling superlatives at anything and calling it a "review" or even something more vague like "a write-up" but this is the rare film that warrants ALL of the superlatives. Even the things that would normally take me out of the film - we can see the wires holding up one of the Deadites at one point, for example - are irrelevant, because this film just carries you on its own unique wave of momentum and you just roll with everything Raimi throws at you. A silly eyeball-shooting-across-the-room gag? Bring it on. A house that fires jets of blood out of its walls? I can dig it. A hero who replaces his hand with a chainsaw, saves the day, then gets sent back in time to the Middle Ages? Groovy.