The Evil Dead ★★★★

When I first saw The Evil Dead a few years ago, I wasn't particularly wowed by it. It wasn't as funny as I had anticipated, but more than that it just seemed kind of perfunctory. Tonight, I was more impressed. I attribute that in part to having already seen it, and knowing what kind of film it isn't.

Partly, though, I give credit to playing it through my old surround sound system, which was in storage the first time I watched it. The sound mix and sound design are tremendously important to the overall aesthetic of the film, and I missed the real effect of that before. Most of the music and sound effects take place in the high range, which is typically associated with more frenetic, urgent feelings. At times, even after turning down the volume to compensate, I felt bullied by the speakers. The sound just does not let up, which exacerbates and amplifies the on-screen action.

The Evil Dead Re-Ranked on My Flickchart (#699/1585)

The Evil Dead > The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad --> #699
After my first viewing of The Evil Dead, I probably would have picked The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad here. This second viewing, though, was much more satisfying. Raimi > Disney.

The Evil Dead < The Thief of Bagdad --> #699
Though The Evil Dead does a brilliant job provoking anxiety and making me squirm, I find myself favoring the adventurism and storytelling ambition of The Thief of Bagdad here.

The Evil Dead > Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths --> #594
I would seriously love to see Sam Raimi direct a Batman horror movie, like with Man-Bat or Clayface.

The Evil Dead > Despicable Me --> #495
Neither was quite what I had anticipated, but The Evil Dead is a much more visceral experience, and that puts it over the top here.

The Evil Dead > Cutlass --> #446
One is an endearing parallel coming-of-age story about a mother and daughter, and the other is a 90 minute anxiety attack. Sometimes, we like to be freaked out.

The Evil Dead > Dead Poets Society --> #421
Someone make a mash-up of this happen. "O Captain! My Captain! I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL!" I'd watch that movie.

The Evil Dead > The Devil Wears Prada --> #408
I was impressed by Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, but not enough to pick that film over Sam Raimi's nightmare.

The Evil Dead < Ben-Hur --> #408
There's no shame in losing to Ben-Hur. Which is good for The Evil Dead, because it does.

The Evil Dead > Kill Bill Vol. 1 --> #405
Before I gave The Evil Dead a second viewing, I probably would have gone with Kill Bill Vol. 1 here. Now, though, I favor Raimi > Tarantino.

The Evil Dead > Say Yes --> #404
Say Yes is an endearing love letter to African-American beauty, but sometimes I find myself wanting to bask in the ugliest ugliness that movies have to offer...and they don't get much uglier than The Evil Dead.

The Evil Dead > The Haunting --> #403
I should re-visit The Haunting some time. I really enjoyed it when it played theaters in 1999. Right now, though, The Evil Dead benefits from my having just re-watched it.

The Evil Dead was re-ranked on my Flickchart to #403/1585