One’s intense, the other’s in tents.
Sam Raimi’s lurid nasty and Haxan Films’ frightener share plenty... but not on Blu-ray, where The Evil Dead raises a levitating demon’s head over The Blair Witch Project.
Raimi’s fledgling talent in motion merits the upgrade. The keen compositions, agile sound mix and rampant ‘ram-o-cam’ carry fresh clout.
The film shouldn’t work: the acting’s hammy, FX are patchy and the plot – kids rouse demons at a woods cabin – is crude. But Raimi delivers with such vigour and black wit, you’re walloped senseless.
Blair shouldn’t work, either. Directors Ed Sanchez and Dan Myrick give the cast the cameras with a perversity that packs immersive punch.
Eerie myths lure us into the woods, before fretful performances and implied threats maximise impact. Blu Witch doesn’t benefit from HD and lacks new extras to tempt.
Weirdly, Myrick joins Raimi, Bruce Campbell and producer Rob Tapert on Dead to eulogise its impact, dish war stories and celebrate their younger selves’ can-do daring.
That spirit of raw ingenuity unites these genre-busters: you can’t put a price on it.
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