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[Article] – IT (2017) & Evil Dead II: A Comparison

 

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Posted September 24, 2017 by

 
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Last week I saw IT and I loved it. It was my first proper experience of the story, I never saw the original two-part TV movie, and what with the original novel being 1,138 pages long and me being a lazy man, I haven’t read the book either.

What I loved about it was the sense of fun. Despite being a brilliantly constructed story it knows exactly what it is and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It reminded me of one of my favorite films of all time, Evil Dead II. In fact on the second viewing, I noticed a lot of similarities between the two, so I thought it would be a fun idea to type up a list of comparisons.

Now, this isn’t a who ripped off who article. One of the things IT taught me is how Stephen King has influenced a number of films and shows, from Evil Dead to Stranger Things, and how Sam Rami’s low budget 1987 masterpiece has inspired a lot of horror directors of recent times, especially independent ones looking to create a dynamic visual experience on the cheap.

Of course, there be spoilers, so if you are a horror fan and you have yet to see either one of these brilliant movies do yourself a favor and do so as soon as possible! Then please come back and read this.

Opening Titles!

IT’s opening sequence is both creepy and horrific and sets up the film perfectly. After the introduction, we are sent spinning down a road tunnel with the title of the movie waiting for us at the end. In Evil Dead II we are given a spinning title and then sent zooming down a road tunnel and into the light. These openings give us an almost vertigo-inducing sense of a thrill ride that is about to commence.

 You’ll Float too/Dead By Dawn!

Not only are these two lines each films respective tagline, but they are both uttered by the movies beasty’s repeatedly, at one point each in a nightmarish sequence over and over again building to a crescendo. I find myself muttering both of these lines to myself as I go about my daily duties, which is actually a bit weird and maybe I should look into seeing someone about it.

Hair in the Drain/Tree Roots!

Beverly’s traumatic bathroom sequence in IT holds a lot of nods to Evil Dead II. First off the hair that shoots out of the drain pipe and wraps itself around her echoes the tree roots in ED2 dragging Bobby Joe to her doom, complete with quick cuts of whipping and wrapping around limbs. Both scenes are extremely unsettling and you feel a sense of helplessness in both characters as they are seen being dragged to their apparent doom.

Blood Bath!

In the same sequence a fountain of blood bursts from the sink coating Beverly and almost drowning her. Same thing happens to Ash in his attempt to shoot his dismembered, sentient, evil hand who has escaped behind the drywall of the cabin. An unexpected fountain of crimson coats both the actors and their surroundings, leaving them soaked and understandably traumatized. Well, you would be wouldn’t you.

Blood on the light bulb!

Finally, as the blood coats Beverly’s bathroom it hits the light bulb and engulfs the room in a red light. It reflects the scene in ED2 where Ash finishes off his possessed girlfriend Linda with a chainsaw. A brilliant visual that adds to the dark yet colorful atmosphere that both movies possess.

Emotional blackmail *Big Spoilers*

Towards the end of IT Pennywise takes the form of Georgie in an attempt to fool his brother Bill into believing he is still alive. This happens twice in Evil Dead, first with Ash and Linda, and then later when Henrietta tries to convince her daughter Annie she is fine, and to unlock the basement door. Extremely unnerving as an audience member, you pray each character doesn’t fall into the trap whilst also feeling a tiny piece of doubt in the back of your mind.

Kill This Fucking Clown/Carve us a witch *Big Spoilers*

The way the kids in IT react to each horrific ordeal is almost played out like a black comedy, especially when they first visit the well house. It’s akin to that of Ash as his night gets more and more insane and violent. Both movies end with its leads having enough and facing their fears.

It’s this factor that makes puts both movies on my all time favorite horror list. In most scary films your almost rooting for the villain, wondering what horrific way they are going to take out the next annoying character. In both these movies you connect with the leads, you feel for them as they go from one horrific experience to the next so when they finally reach the breaking point and take matters into their own hands you are rooting for the good guys. There are still unlikable or villainous roles that give you satisfaction when they meet a nightmarish fate, but when it comes down to the key protagonists they rightfully assume their roles as the heroes you want to cheer as they give the ghoulies a taste of their own medicine.

Just a quick one, and when IT becomes readily available I may even cut together a little comparison shot video. Can you think of any more similarities? Do you think I’m looking too far into it and talking rubbish? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tim Buckler
@BlockBusterMan
Tim’s Fortress Of Solitude
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