Evil Dead Rise

May 11, 2023
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I’m so glad some people can’t resist opening skin-bound books of pure evil because then we wouldn’t get decent horror movies like this one!

Taking place not in a creepy cabin in the middle of the woods but a dingy apartment in the middle of Los Angeles, Evil Dead Rise follows a new set of characters in single mom, Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), and her three children, teenagers Danny (Morgan Davies) and Bridget (Gabrielle Echols), and their kid sister, Kassie (Nell Fisher), as they contend with an ancient evil hellbent on taking their lives, piece by bloody piece. Unexpectedly visited by Ellie’s younger sister, Beth (Lily Sullivan), just as the Necronomicon, or the Book of the Dead, is unearthed, it isn’t long before Ellie is corrupted by a demonic entity that turns her against her family in a most violently terrifying way, setting the stage for another brutal entry in the Evil Dead franchise!

The latest sequel to a series that just won’t stay dead, Evil Dead Rise feels like an important step forward for this franchise as it feels more fresh and original than I was expecting, doing away with a similar setting and group dynamic compared to the other films, the somewhat cringe opening scene notwithstanding. Bolstered by some sadistic blood and gore as well as a few filmmaking choices that heighten the film’s overall creep factor, the script does a decent job at creating main characters that feel more like real people rather than Deadite cannon fodder (characterizations that the handful of secondary characters don’t share, unfortunately), making me care slightly more than I usually would have if our protagonists were the one-dimensional heroes often found in horror flicks such as this.

With a tone falling somewhere in between 2013’s utterly harrowing Evil Dead remake and the series’ more darkly comic but no less bloody entries like Evil Dead 2Evil Dead Rise, more often than not, manages to hit a sweet spot where everything it’s striving for as a standalone movie, as well as a continuation and update of the series, works in ways that I had no complaints about. Yet for as successful it is at times, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that some elements felt off about it, specifically a middle section that felt way too slow and a few truly stupid moments that I straight up did not like, or at the very least, eye-rolled extremely hard at.

So while this movie isn’t without flaws, Evil Dead Rise does almost everything it needs to do to keep this long-running franchise alive while accomplishing just enough on its own to separate it from what came before. I still prefer the 2013 remake of the first Evil Dead film, but fans of the series won’t be disappointed with this soft relaunch one bit, so here’s hoping a few more sequels are in the cards in the near future!

I’m so glad some people can’t resist opening skin-bound books of pure evil because then we wouldn’t get decent horror movies like this one! Taking place not in a creepy cabin in the middle of the woods but a dingy apartment in the middle of Los Angeles, Evil Dead Rise follows a new set of characters in single mom, Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), and her three children, teenagers Danny (Morgan Davies) and Bridget (Gabrielle Echols), and their kid sister, Kassie (Nell Fisher), as they contend with an ancient evil hellbent on taking their lives, piece by bloody piece. Unexpectedly visited by Ellie’s younger sister, Beth (Lily Sullivan), just as the Necronomicon, or the Book of the Dead, is unearthed, it isn’t long before Ellie is corrupted by a demonic entity that turns her against her family in a most violently terrifying way, setting the stage for another brutal entry in the Evil Dead franchise! The latest sequel to a series that just won’t stay dead, Evil Dead Rise feels like an important step forward for this franchise as it feels more fresh and original than I was expecting, doing away with a similar setting and group dynamic compared to the other films, the somewhat cringe opening scene notwithstanding. Bolstered by some sadistic blood and gore as well as a few filmmaking choices that heighten the film’s overall creep factor, the script does a decent job at creating main characters that feel more like real people rather than Deadite cannon fodder (characterizations that the handful of secondary characters don’t share, unfortunately), making me care slightly more than I usually would have if our protagonists were the one-dimensional heroes often found in horror flicks such as this. With a tone falling somewhere in between 2013’s utterly harrowing Evil Dead remake and the series’ more darkly comic but no less bloody entries like Evil Dead 2, Evil Dead Rise, more often than not, manages to hit a sweet spot where everything it's striving for as a standalone movie, as well as a continuation and update of the series, works in ways that I had no complaints about. Yet for as successful it is at times, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that some elements felt off about it, specifically a middle section that felt way too slow and a few truly stupid moments that I straight up did not like, or at the very least, eye-rolled extremely hard at. So while this movie isn't without flaws, Evil Dead Rise does almost everything it needs to do to keep this long-running franchise alive while accomplishing just enough on its own to separate it from what came before. I still prefer the 2013 remake of the first Evil Dead film, but fans of the series won’t be disappointed with this soft relaunch one bit, so here’s hoping a few more sequels are in the cards in the near future!

7.1

Rise and Shine

The Verdict

7.1

7

Brian is first and foremost a nerd in every way shape and form. He likes to compare himself to a black hole, consuming any and every form of entertainment unlucky enough to get caught in his gravitational pull. It's not uncommon on any given day for him to read a couple comics, settle down with a good book, watch a few movies (inside and out of the theater), catch up on his ever growing but never depleting Hulu queue, challenge himself with a few good video games, listen to any music he can get his hands on and, of course, write his heart out. He spends every waking moment dreaming up interesting and intriguing concepts and ideas that will hopefully one day inspire and entertain anyone looking for an escape from their daily lives. Graduating from Full Sail University in good old humid Florida, Brian currently lives and works in New York City and is waiting for the day when all he has to do is wake up and create something unique and new for people to enjoy. He is always in the process of writing scripts and stories and is constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and build his creative drive. After all, life is just one big story, all that really matters is how you strive to make it the best story possible. Disclaimer: Brian does not actually have powdered green skin in case anyone was wondering. A Skrull I am not. Blame the guys at the Color Run for this one.

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