Friday, October 21, 2011

My Halloween Movie of the Day: Day 21

30. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn - I'd forgotten that this movie is shorter than the original Evil Dead. Not by much, but when the first movie was as short as it was, every little bit counts, especially when seven minutes of this one are used to get us back to the place the first movie leaves off. If there's one thing I don't like about this trilogy, it's the recaps at the beginning of the second and third movies, though I'm pretty sure the one in Army of Darkness is at least a little shorter. I can sort of see where they're coming from, since it explains why only one of Ash's friends from the first movie comes back to haunt him in this one, and to give us a pre-death glimpse of one of the other Deadites that will be showing up, but seven minutes is almost a tenth of the running time... It just seems like a waste to me. And the gritty look from the first one that I realized I liked so much with this latest viewing is gone, though it's hard to be too upset because they got a bigger budget to work with (especially since we still get a little stop motion here and there) this time around. That look wouldn't have fit in with the new, far more humorous tone that this movie adopts, anyway. In my entry on the first Evil Dead, I almost wrote about how I'd forgotten just how good the "Ash goes crazy" sequence was, and how it might even be better than the one in this movie... Which, now that I've rewatched the one in this movie, I'm glad I didn't do. At the time, I was thinking that maybe the added whimsy in this one dulled the impact, but it really doesn't, even if the continued cutting to Annie and co. throughout does a bit. If anything, it makes it more unsettling. While I do enjoy Army of Darkness, it's my least favorite of the trilogy because it becomes much more of a comedy than a horror movie, but here, the balance is just right. But am I going to stick with what I said in my Evil Dead write-up about that one being my favorite now? I'm really not sure... There isn't anything quite as scary in this as the first time a Deadite shows up in the first, but overall, it's still a damn fine movie.

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