Movies, no matter how groundbreaking or silly they may be, have always traded one thing to us in return for their immortality – the means of escape. Escape from reality. Escape from life. Escape from the world. Horror movies have come to be one of the most consistent suppliers of this ‘drug.’ They have a way of hacking and slashing their way into the minds of watchers and burrowing deep into their thoughts long after the films have ended. Something about watching people try to escape for their lives has garnered an unavoidable appeal to people trying to escape from their lives.
When I was a kid, my mind often roamed far away from wherever it was supposed to be. It almost always ended up in a world born from the camera lens of a director intent on evoking fear from whoever chanced to look at his work. Whether it was John Landis (Director of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, 1983) or Sam Raimi (Director of the Evil Dead movies), I was always attracted to the type of gore and terror that only spilled out of horror movies.
This brings me to the films I owe a huge part of my childhood to – the Evil Dead series. Often, movies viewed in childhood have an amplified aura of nostalgic reverence that dissipates as you grow. Not the Evil Dead movies. In fact, when I recently re-watched The Evil Dead, the awe that was inspired into a 10-year-old me only grew into an adult-sized version. I spotted the things, little things that solidified my suspicion that – like me – Sam Raimi was a massive horror movie fan, and not just a person looking to capitalize on a growing audience.
The Evil Dead was one of the first scary movies I was introduced to, and I owe a lot of the swashbuckling adventures that went on in my mind to Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), the hero of the Evil Dead films.
I remember feeling so elated in 2015 when I found out the Ash vs Evil Dead series was released. I remember the joy I felt as Ash Williams lit up my screen once more. I was glad the Evil Dead Universe opened a portal to their world for me one more time and I know this is a feeling every movie fan is grateful for: The chance to jump between worlds. The chance to escape.