i think you have to view this film knowing it’s an independent feature. if you don’t contextualize the picture in this way, and compare it to the shining or a feature horror film today then you’re doing the film a disservice. of course contextualizing a picture is always important to a certain degree, but i think that’s especially true with this picture. i also think that if you watched this for the first time in 1981, by yourself in a dark theater then the picture would be truly disturbing and horrifying. of course now the film has evolved to the point where it can be viewed either as a horror film, or as a camp film perfect for watching with a group of friends. i think it’s a testament to the strength of the film, but some may see it as a weakness of its intentions as a horror film. the best aspect of the film is its visual style. the camera is almost always in an unfamiliar place – either on the floor, or in the ceiling, or in the cellar. the depth of field in the picture is also amazing and adds a real vitality and dynamism to it. if they had chosen to use it a little more sparingly then the horror aspect of the film may have been stronger, but i think the i like it the way it is and there were probably economic considerations as well. with evil dead 2 raimi and company left no doubt what kind of picture they were making – it’s pure camp and comedy. it features many of the same camera moves and visual ambition, but uses bruce campbell as a comic force instead of a whimpering everyman. fyi: joel coen (half of the coen brothers) is an assistant editor in this film. the commentary by raimi and the producer is mostly anecdotal and doesn’t have much information about the filming or vision they had for the film. i think this is partly due to the fact they sort of flew by the seat of their pants during production. a great film, but evil dead 2 may be even better.