Evil Dead 2. Is it a squeal? Debatably. Is it a remake? Also debatable. The first 10 minutes start off as a recap-retcon of the first film, and from there on, you can convincible call it a squeal of events that might have happened.
The film aims for comedy over horror, it gives an almost incongruity of tone from one film to the other. Watching the films one after another, you get a horror film with light comedy elements to give you a smile or chuckle, to watch the next and get a comedy with light horror elements to give you a little shudder or creepy feeling.
The comedy becomes the type of over the top gore fest that you might expect if you’ve watched the first film. The main character Ash, the only character to really return for the film, becomes over the top himself, from the first films reluctant, relatable, in an unthinkable situation hero, into a badass, macho, one-liner hero; then again, he only changes to fit the script. It becomes funny to think of what would happen if either of these same characters switched movies.
This film is a fun ride throughout, Ash still remains a likeable goofball, and the situations he is put through can be seen as horrific if it ever happened to you, but played out in such a comical fashion that a relatable schadenfreude develops with him. The makeup deserves a quick mention, in that the Deadites look much better in this film, but almost paradoxically look cartoony enough that they still seem comical.
I mentioned in my The Evil Dead (1981) review that when you find yourself in a horrible situation with all your options failing and becoming limited all you can do is laugh, and this film seems to take that premise and run with it all the way into a cabin in the woods.