Evil Dead II (also known as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn) is a 1987 comedy cult horror film and the second installment of the Evil Dead film trilogy. The film was directed by Sam Raimi, written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Rob Tapert and starring Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams. Ash discovers the Necronomicon and encounters spirits which possess his girlfriend and his hand in the process. By getting help from a professor and his daughter, Ash is able to draw in the evil force, but inadvertently get sent back to Medieval England. Raimi and Spiegel wrote the script during production of Crimewave.
Filming took place in North Carolina and the film was released in the United States on March 13, 1987. The film was a box office success, and achieved $10.9 million at the box office. It also received critical acclaim. Observers praised Raimi for the direction and Campbell for his role in the film. Evil Dead II was eventually followed by Army of Darkness, which was released in 1993.
Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) take a romantic vacation to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods. While in the cabin, Ash plays a tape of an archeology professor (the cabin's previous inhabitant), reciting passages from the Necronomicon (or "Book of the Dead"), which he has discovered during an archaeological dig. The recorded incantation unleashes an evil force which kills and later possesses the body of Linda. Ash is then forced to decapitate his girlfriend for his own safety. After he buries her, a spirit is seen on the hunt for Ash. (This is a retcon of the first film to catch viewers up with the plot).
It is here that the film picks up where its predecessor left off. Ash becomes briefly possessed by the demon, but when day breaks the spirit is gone, and Ash is back to normal. Ash finds little chance of safety, however, as the bridge leading to the cabin is destroyed. To make things worse, Ash is forced to sever his right hand, which has become possessed.
While Ash is dealing with this force, the professor's daughter, Annie, and her research partner, Ed, return from the dig with more pages of the Necronomicon in tow, only to find the destroyed bridge. They enlist the help of Jake and Bobby Joe to guide them along an alternate trail to the cabin. The four of them find an embattled Ash, who is slowly being driven insane due to his encounter with the evil force, such as hallucinating that inanimate objects are laughing at him.
At first, he is mistaken for a murderer by the four people because he shoots at them through the door (mistaking them as the Evil Force), but they find out the truth after listening to a recording of Annie's father, Professor Knowby (John Peaks), that talked about how his wife Henrietta was possessed and buried in the cabin's cellar rather than dismembered. Ed is possessed and is soon killed by Ash. Bobby Joe tries to escape, but is attacked by the trees and dragged to her death. Ash is possessed once again and throws Jake against a tree, knocking him unconscious. Annie retreats to the cabin and accidentally stabs Jake and drags him to the cellar door where he is killed by Henrietta in a bloodbath. Ash tries to kill Annie, but returns to normal when he finds Linda's necklace.
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