Film

ASHES TO ASH’S

by

After the disappointment of last year’s personality-free Oz the Great and Powerful, the timing is right to reacquaint oneself with Sam Raimi’s more singular work, and few films convey his pure joy for filmmaking craft with as much energy as Evil Dead II, which the Landmark Sunshine screens at midnight this weekend. Raimi’s muse, the great Bruce Campbell, returns from the first installment, as do a few key narrative staples (the cabin-in-the-woods setting, the Book of the Dead). But Raimi amps up the gore to a slapstick-level nuttiness that is reflected in his seemingly boundless camerawork, which often adopts the POV of the unseen demon as it chases Campbell through the house with wild determination. Though working with a bigger budget, Raimi retains the practical, film-school charm of the original Evil Dead — as Dave Kehr wrote for the Chicago Tribune in 1987, “There probably isn’t a special effect in the film that couldn’t have been accomplished in 1922.”

Fri., Oct. 3, 11:59 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 4, 11:59 p.m., 2014

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