Evil Dead Rise Review

I remember watching the first Evil Dead movie at home with my family. I was 8 years old and my father had rented it from the local video store. I was excited to see it but also nervous because I remember how spooky the image on the VHS box looked. Once the movie got into the thick of it, I ended up watching the movie with my hands over my eyes and peeking through the cracks every now and then. I remember watching it again during the day because watching a horror movie during the day makes it less scary, but the movie still freaked me out.

As I got older I started watching the other Evil Dead movies. I went to the theaters to see part 2 and the following sequel, Army of Darkness. Yes, the movies got cheesy but they were still a great time at the theaters. Currently, not only did we receive a new reimagining in 2017, but we also got a television show and some pretty decent video games. All of this brings us to the latest installment in the Evil Dead franchise, Evil Dead Rise. I will say that this movie does a great job of carrying the torch of the previous films and will make fans of the original enjoy themselves in the theaters.

The movie starts off in the woods, where else would you expect it to start, and we are treated to the familiar shot of evil moving through the trees and landing upon an unsuspecting person. A few things happen and then we are transported to a bathroom in a club where we are introduced to Beth, played by Lily Sullivan, as she is in the bathroom taking a pregnancy test. We do not see the result from the test but the scene changes to Ellie, played by Alyssa Sutherl, and her children in their apartment. The introduction to the characters is pretty slow-paced but I feel that this is for the audience to care about these people before the madness starts.

Ok, so how does the madness start? Let me tell you. The kids are sent to get pizza for the family due to the surprise visit of Ellie’s sister, Beth. While the kids are in the underground parking lot an earthquake happens which reveals a hidden room underground. Danny, played by Morgan Davies, decides to look in the room, which is a bank vault, and finds some records and the Necronomicon, The Book of the Dead. This version of the Necronomicon is different than the one we have seen in the previous movies. While it is still made out of human flesh, it is closed shut with interlocking teeth. Danny cuts his finger on one of the teeth and the blood opens up the book. His sister, Kassie, played by Nell Fisher, tells him to get rid of the book and he agrees to do it in the morning.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Since Danny is a DJ, he decides to listen to the records that he found with the Necronomicon. If you remember from the previous movies what happens when people listen to the recordings, you know what is going to happen next. This is one of the great things about the Evil Dead movies is that they follow a familiar format with some tweaks to that formula. While the recording is being played we see the point-of-view of the demon following and then possessing Ellie. Once Ellie returns back to the apartment the family notices that something is off with her and she starts attacking the family.

I do not want to spoil anything for anyone but from this moment the movie grabs you and drags you to hell. The slow transformation of Ellie into a Deadite is incredible and intense at moments. The amount of ingenuity of the kills is something that we have not seen in previous movies. There are many callbacks to the other movies in the franchise that made me smile while watching, although I should not have been smiling seeing these people get attacked and mutilated by Ellie.

In the 2013 reimagining, we had an intense scene with an electronic bread knife. In Evil Dead Rise, we have three intense movements with household items that will stay with you after the movie is over. Not only are there callbacks to the previous Evil Dead movies, but we do also get a great homage to The Shining and I would also say Fargo. You will know what I am talking about when you see it.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Final Thoughts: Evil Dead Rise is a great addition to the Evil Dead franchise. The movie knows its history and plays along those realms without adding too many new things to the mix. There are great callbacks to previous movies and an addition of a “super” deadite that will send chills down your spine. Evil Dead Rise is a fun, gruesome, and bloody ride.

Kid-Friendly: This one is up to the parents. If your children have seen scary movies before and have been exposed to this type of violence then they should be good. I would recommend it for older kids 16 -17 due to the content and the amount of violence in the movie.

Violence: A lot of it and plenty of blood.

New Line Cinema and Renaissance Pictures present a return to the iconic horror franchise, “Evil Dead Rise,” from writer/director Lee Cronin (“The Hole in the Ground”). The movie stars Lily Sullivan (“I Met a Girl,” “Barkskins”), Alyssa Sutherland (“The Mist,” “Vikings”), Morgan Davies (“Storm Boy,” “The End”), Gabrielle Echols (“Reminiscence”) and introducing Nell Fisher (“Northspur”).

Moving the action out of the woods and into the city, “Evil Dead Rise” tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Sutherland and Sullivan, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.

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