Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

Replacing the original movie’s downright oppressive atmosphere with a kind of lunatic humor more appropriate for, say, Charlie Chaplin movies, “Evil Dead 2” is a bold, audacious and downright schizophrenic sequel/remake. While the first half is a bit slow, the second half explodes with violence, gore and extraordinarily imaginative special effects, and once it gets going it never lets up. Bruce Campbell delivers a tour-de-force performance, filled as it is with manic comedic energy and buckets of charm, and deftly demonstrates his knack for old-fashioned physical humor. The movie primarily works as a comedy, but there are a number of downright scary, over-the-top moments that showcase director Sam Raimi’s forceful, go-for-broke approach to horror that have led to other, later masterpieces like “Army of Darkness” and “Drag Me to Hell.”

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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