Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn is the second film in Raimi’s cult classic trilogy. Due to the success of the first film, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and the rest of the Evil Dead gang were able to convince investors to put up even more money for the second film. Evil Dead 2 is basically what Sam Raimi intended for the original Evil Dead to be. In that sense, it can be called a remake, but thematically it works well as a sequel. Evil Dead 2 changes several plot points and adds new characters. Cheryl, Scotty, and Shelly are replaced by a new cast of characters. Bruce Campbell returns reprising his role as Ash.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead) Ash returns to the infamous cabin with his girlfriend Linda for a weekend getaway. Ash discovers Professor Knowby’s tape recorder and decides to play it while Linda freshens up. As the recording is playing, the incantation recited by Professor Knowby unleashes the evil in the forest. The evil rushes towards the cabin and takes Linda from her room. Ash ventures out into the woods to search for her only to find a possessed Linda who lunges at him. Quickly, Ash grabs a shovel and lobs off her head clean off. Has no choice but to bury her.
Just as Ash finishes burying Linda, dawn arrives, and the evil force rushes toward Ash and takes him for a wild ride in the forest. Ash himself is possessed by the evil, but it leaves him as daybreak arrives. Ash awakens after being knocked unconscious. He sees his chance to escape and drives away from the cabin but finds the bridge has been taken out. The unrelenting evil force chases Ash and forces him back to the cabin. Elsewhere, Professor Knowby’s daughter Annie returns from an expedition to retrieve the pages from the Book of the Dead. She meets up with her boyfriend Ed Getly at the airport. Together they return to the cabin in hopes to to translate the pages with Annie’s father.
Back at the cabin, Linda’s corpse rises from her grave and scares the crap out of Ash. Just as Ash nearly goes insane inside the cabin, Linda’s head drops down out of nowhere and bites his hand, and doesn’t let go. Ash decides to go to the workshed and dispose of Linda’s head. While searching for a chainsaw, Linda’s headless corpse attacks Ash. Ash easily fends it off and finally gets to dispose of Linda’s head. Ash returns to the cabin and slowly goes crazy again, seeing furniture move and himself come out of a mirror. Elsewhere Annie and Ed make their way to the cabin with the help of Jake and Bobby Joe. Back at the cabin his hand that Linda bit gets infected and comes alive. Ash has no other choice but to see it off at the source.
Just as Ash tends to his new wound, his hand escapes and hides in the wall taunting him. Ash goes after his hand with his trusty double-barrel only to be hosed by gallons of blood spewing from the walls. As Ash goes further insane, the cabin comes alive mocking him and laughing at his antics. Then comes a knock at the door. Instinctively Ash fires his shotgun at the door barely grazing the new visitors. Ash goes to check the door but finds no one there. Just as Ash lets his guard down he’s taken down and knocked unconscious by Jake. The rest of the crew, Annie, Ed, and Bobbie Joe enter. Annie she’s Ash’s bloody chainsaw and believes Ash killed her parents.
Ash is thrown in the cellar while everyone tries to figure out what’s going on. Annie finds her father’s tape recorder and turns it on. As they listen to Professor Knowby’s translation of the demon resurrection passages from the book of the dead, they find out Annie’s mother has become host to a Kandarian demon. Professor Knowby had no other choice but to cool kill her and bury her in the fruit cellar. Just as they hear this, Henrietta rises from her grave and goes after Ash. Just before she can swallow his soul, they pull Ash out of the cellar and save him. Evil Henrietta barely escapes the cellar and manages to injure Ed before she is forced back down by Jake and Ash. While Ash explains there’s something evil out in the woods, Evil Henrietta tries to trick Annie to release her from the cellar but Ash convinces her that she’s not the real Henrietta. Out of nowhere Ed becomes possessed and attempts to free Henrietta from the cellar, but Ash grabs an axe and hacks Evil Ed to pieces.
Just as they think it’s over, Professor’s Knowby’s soul forces its way into the realm of the living for a brief moment to tell them how to dispel the evil by reciting passages from the book. Bobbie Joe freaks out and flees from the cabin after having an unsuspecting handshake with Ash’s dismembered hand. She runs through the forest and gets attacked by the evil similar to Cheryl’s terrifying scene in the first Evil Dead. Bobbie Joe is pulled through the forest and disposed of through a tree.
Annie and Ash start going through the pages from the book to find out how to dispel the evil. Jake thinks otherwise, he is only concerned about finding Bobbie Joe and forces them at gunpoint to go with him to search for her. Before they leave, Jake tosses the pages down in the cellar. Outside, Jake realizes Bobbie Joe is gone forever after calling for her in the woods with no response. Out of nowhere Ash turns into Evil Ash and throws Jake into a tree. Terrified, Annies runs back inside the cabin and fends for her life. After barely fending off Evil Ash and mistakenly stabbing Jake in the chest, Evil Ash gets into the cabin and attacks Annie. Fortunately, Ash returns to normal after finding Linda’s necklace on the floor.
Ash wakes Annie up and convinces her he’s normal again. Together they gear up and go after the pages in the cellar. Ash enters the cellar and finds the pages and throws them up to Annie, but has to battle Evil Henrietta. Annie begins the recitation of the pages. Ash manages to easily best Evil Henrietta while Annie completes the passages. A vortex opens in the woods. The evil from the forest manifests in a grisly form (A.K.A. Dirty Rotten Applehead) made of people it has killed. Ash is terrified so much that his hair turns white. Just before Annie can finish the passages she is stabbed in the back by Ash’s evil hand. Ash is grabbed by Dirty Rotten Applehead and is almost eaten but Annie manages to finish the passages with her dying breath. The evil is sent back but Ash is also sucked into the vortex as well, and somehow transported back in time to medieval times.