Ranking All Of The ‘Evil Dead’ Movies!

Before Evil Dead Rise hits theaters on April 21, let’s catch up on the franchise so far, ranking all four movies from worst to best!

There is no franchise quite like The Evil Dead. What started as a small independent horror movie filmed in a cabin in Tennessee has become one of the most iconic horror series ever. From sequels to reboots to video games to a three-season TV show, the deadites have become a genre staple. This week marks the franchise’s return to theaters with Evil Dead Rise, and early reviews have been praising the film as one of the best in the series. Before the newest film hits theaters, let’s rank all four previous entries, keeping in mind that this franchise has not made a bad movie as of yet, and all of them have their own charm.

4. Evil Dead (2013)

In terms of horror remakes, Fede Álvarez’s Evil Dead is one of the best Hollywood has ever produced. The Don’t Breath filmmaker was able to take what worked about the previous films while adding his own style and flair to the film. Jane Leavy as Mia is also a standout as one of the best horror protagonists of the 2010s. However, the film takes a little while to find its footing, as the first act is strikingly similar to the original film. It is not until the remake diverges from the original with its creative kills and camerawork that it really starts to sing. This remake received generally positive ratings, with a 63% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.4 on Letterboxd. While it is generally considered the weakest Evil Dead movie, it is still a fun gore-filled time and a great love letter to the original film.

3. The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead is a beloved horror classic, with an 85% critical rating, an 84% audience score, and a 3.7 on Letterboxd; this film is an iconic entry in the 80s horror cannon. What makes it all the more impressive is the circumstances it was made under. With no studio funding and limited experience, a very young Sam Raimi made a name for himself with this ultra-low-budget horror movie. What Raimi and his team were able to produce, given the limitations, is nothing short of breathtaking. While the story behind the film is fascinating, it may be more interesting than the movie itself, as Raimi was able to top himself with bigger budgets for the next two sequels. Nonetheless, The Evil Dead is a classic and a must-watch for any horror fan.

2. Army of Darkness (1992)

In many ways, Army of Darkness is the black sheep of the franchise. Forgoing the traditional cabin in the woods setting and sending Bruce Campbell’s Ash back to medieval times, the film is almost more of an action/adventure film than a horror movie. This change of pace works in the movie’s favor as it is able to go bigger than any other film in the series, with incredible makeup and creature designs. The film provides a great blend of action and humor that Raimi would later perfect with his Spider-Man movies. This one is also a favorite amongst the fans, holding a 3.8 on Letterboxd and an 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Army of Darkness is unlike other Evil Dead movie (or any other movie in general).

1. Evil Dead II (1987)

While all Evil Dead movies are beloved, Evil Dead II stands head and shoulders above the rest, creating a perfect blend of horror and comedy. The film is often funny and scary at the exact same time, in a way that only Sam Raimi could have crafted. With an 88% critic score on RT, a 7.7 on IMDb, and a 4.1 on Letterboxd, this is by far the most beloved film of the series, and for good reason. With an incredible performance from Bruce Campbell, a chainsaw hand, and gallons of fake blood, Evil Dead II is a perfect movie and one of the greatest horror/comedies of all time.

Make sure to check out all these movies on streaming, and see Evil Dead Rise when it hits theaters on April 21!

About the Author

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Dietz Woehle

Dietz Woehle is a Cinema and Media Studies major at the University of Southern California. He has a deep love for film and storytelling.