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The best Sam Raimi movies ever made

Our list of the best Sam Raimi movies goes through his entire career, from scrappy horror movies right up to blockbusters featuring Spider-Man.

Best Sam Raimi movies

What are the best Sam Raimi movies? Not content with merely defining horror for an entire generation in the ’80s, Sam Raimi would do the same again for superhero fans in the 2000s.

Over the course of his career, he’s gone from micro-budget horror movies to blockbuster Marvel movies. In that time, one thing has become clear – if a new movie has Sam Raimi’s name on it, you’re very likely in for a good time.

Westerns, sports movies, drama movies, he’s proven a dab hand at all of it. Though, of course, we especially love he has Bruce Campbell in the starring for a zombie movie. To celebrate his incredible work so far, these are the best Sam Raimi movies. Groovy.

Best Sam Raimi movies: Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Is it a remake or a sequel? Neither, both, and ultimately it doesn’t matter because Evil Dead 2 is just a flat-out good time. Bruce Campbell returned to portray Ash Williams, a man trapped in a woodland cabin by the evil forces of the Necronomicon. He faces demonic slaves of the book, known as Deadites.

You wouldn’t think it was all so grave by how playful it all is, clearly a group of friends just going for it in the effects department. Even without all the squelchy bits, you have a pitch perfect performance by Campbell and some hearty quotes. Sam Raimi’s Night of the Living Dead.

Best Sam Raimi movies: Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness (1992)

Bruce Campbell takes on the Deadites in the Middle Ages. Still equipped with his trust chainsaw and shotgun, the battle against the Necronomicon rages on in absurd fashion, populated by Ray Harryhausen-esque monster and effects.

The sheer cartoonishness makes it a defining picture of the ’90s, sincere yet distinctly tongue-in-cheek, and very radical. It’s a regular dude taking on demonic zombies through time in a fantasy movie, what’s not to like?

Best Sam Raimi movies: Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

Once a schlocky filmmaker, always a schlocky filmmaker. After scaling Manhattan through Spider-Man and directing a long list of A-listers, Raimi returned to his terror roots for Drag Me To Hell in 2009.

A loan collector, Christine, decides against helping an elderly woman – big mistake. Her life falls apart over the next three days, and she’ll be taken by demons if she doesn’t break the curse. The ick factor is high for something so glossy, complementing a dark and grimy screenplay. Such punishment for a bank employee made it all the better in light of the 2008 recession.

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Spider-Man 2 (2002)

Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie was revelatory in just how well it captured the spirit of our favourite wallcrawler. Miraculously, he one-upped himself on the sequel, bringing in Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus to really challenge the webhead.

Peter suffers under the pressure of being a student, a friendly neighbourhood hero, and Mary-Jane’s partner. Dr Otto Octavius appears to offer guidance, but they’re soon at odds when a freak accident turns the scientist into a multi-limbed monstrosity.

Raimi confidently indulges in more twinges of horror amid bigger, bolder sequences that delve into Spidey’s character. He understands what makes a hero, and a genre-defining superhero film.

Best Sam Raimi movies: A Simple Plan

A Simple Plan (1998)

Since collaborating with the Coen Brothers on wacky thriller Crimewave in the mid-’80s, Raimi eventually came around to making his own unscrupulous comedy movie in 1998’s A Simple Plan. Four friends coming into several million dollars from a plane crash, and instead of keeping quiet and spreading it evenly, the windfall gradually whittles away at their collective sanity.

Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton, Bridget Fonda, and Brent Briscoe compose the group, so the delivery’s always on point. Coming from indie filmmaking, Raimi may have been exorcising some demons in all the hubbub over money.

Best Sam Raimi movies: The Quick and the Dead

The Quick and the Dead (1995)

Westerns became introspective in the ’90s, as aging stars used the new frontier to contemplate their contribution to American history. Gene Hackman did this in The Quick and the Dead, where he’s an aging gunslinger squared up to by The Lady, played by Sharon Stone.

Their confrontation springs from a shooting tournament, where The Lady stops an execution. The next generation want less violence, and the patriarchal structures in charge refuse such change. Young Russell Crowe and an even younger Leonardo DiCaprio make it purely generational, and something of an underrated gem.

If that’s not enough for you, check out our list of the best movies.