After giving it some thought I’ve popped this list together ranking Evil Dead movies from Best to Worst. It’s just my opinion of course but I’d love to know where you’d place certain movies within this rankings list.
The Evil Dead franchise has been a staple of the horror genre for over four decades, captivating audiences with its gory and grotesque imagery, devilish humour, and terrifying plotlines.
Starting out as a low-budget independent film in 1981 to the new $19 million dollar budget that Evil Dead Rise (2023) had.
The series has amassed a dedicated following of fans who relish in the bloody mayhem that ensues when the dead rise from their graves.
With so many movies in the franchise to choose from it’s certainly challenging to determine which one is the best and which one is the worst but I’ve certainly tried.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the Evil Dead universe and rank the movies from best to worst, so you can be sure to watch the cream of the crop and avoid any duds. But when it comes to Evil Dead, duds are very few and far between!
Without further ado let’s dive right in with ranking Evil Dead movies and let’s start with my ultimate favourite, Evil Dead 2.
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Evil Dead 2 is often considered the best in the franchise and for good reason. It’s a perfect balance of horror and comedy, with Sam Raimi’s signature style of over-the-top violence and gore.
Raimi and Campbell hit the sweet spot with this one and with a bit more experience under Raimi’s belt it just feels like a more polished version of the original as everything feels settled and going in a wonderful direction.
The film picks up where the first Evil Dead left off, but manages to take the concept to new heights by introducing more humour and campiness. The performance by Bruce Campbell as Ash is legendary and he manages to steal the show with his charisma and bravado.
The film is filled with iconic scenes and one-liners that have become cult classics, cementing its place as a horror-comedy masterpiece.
The Evil Dead (1981)
A horror classic and a film that defined a generation and inspired so many directors (and actors) thereafter.
Whilst The Evil Dead isn’t as polished as its sequel it has a first-time charm to it with its low budget and practical effects working to deliver a gorefest and equal sense of terror.
The film is gritty, gruesome and relentless in its pursuit to scare the audience. While it lacks the humour of the sequels, it makes up for it in sheer terror and suspense.
The film has a raw, DIY feel that adds to the overall sense of dread and unease.
Army of Darkness (1992)
A stark contrast to the previous two movies the film takes a new direction into the comedy-adventure role. It still features horror elements here and there but it’s very reliant on the comedy as Ash goes back in time to medieval England, where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon.
The film is full of slapstick humour, one-liners and action sequences. It’s campy, it’s fun and never for one second takes itself too seriously but it’s entertaining and for many, it’s the best in the franchise!
Evil Dead Rise (2023)
Evil Dead Rise slots in just above the 2013 remake for me as there’s substance within the script. Some bits really don’t hit home like the pregnancy arc but there’s never been a more humanised deadite that I can recall in the entire franchise.
Alyssa Sutherland commands the screen and whilst the plot drops off now and again into a big hole there’s just something about it that feels more related to the franchise.
There are winks and nods without anything feeling forced or courtesy fanservice. Everything is written wonderfully and progresses naturally and gracefully.
Casting is perfection, humanising the deadite and having it manipulate her children is genius and the elevator scene whilst reminiscent of The Shining will never get dull.
The effects are insane but certainly not as gory as the 2013 movie.
A solid instalment but it was never going to outclass the originals now was it?
Evil Dead (2013)
The 2013 remake of Evil Dead is a polarizing film among fans of the franchise and for me, it’s not the film I ever wanted it to be.
It’s a faithful remake but it’s far too serious in tone and just relies on gore for the sake of gore. The practical effects are wonderful but it never for one second holds that charm that an Evil Dead movie should have.
There’s no comedy, there’s nothing of substance other than to shock you with an insane amount of gore. It stands so far apart from the pack that it mayaswell be in a cabin in the woods alone for a long time as no one is coming to that party.
What I will say about the 2013 version is that the poster is outstanding!
It was hard ranking Evil Dead movies but now it’s your turn! Comment below which ones you’d put where and I look forward to seeing what you guys think!