Evil Dead Rise Gives Series Fans A Fresh Take And Plenty Of Gore Usually when a film series is embarking on a fifth outing the challenges of keeping things fresh and original yet being new and creative can be a massive obstacle. Horror series ranging from “Halloween” to “Friday the 13th”, “SAW”, and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” all faced issues with moving the series along yet trying to stay true to the original film that inspired them and in every case; failing to fully capture what made the original film a hit. “Evil Dead Rise” is not only the latest entry into the series but a bold take on the cinematic series as it abandons the remote cabin setting of the first two films and the reboot in favor of an urban setting. The film does open in a remote lakeside locale before jumping a day earlier to California where estranged sisters Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and Beth (Lilly Sullivan) reunite. Beth has been working as a guitar technician and bristles that her sister refers to her as a groupie. Ellie is raising three children after their father left and informs her sister that the building they are living in is scheduled to be demolished so they will have to move soon which is a shock to Beth as she has learned that she is pregnant and is trying to figure out her life all the while seeing what she thought would be a source of stability for her upended. The arrival of an earthquake allows access to a hidden area in the parking garage of their building and since the locale was a former bank; the kids soon find a hidden book and records which the only son Danny (Morgan Davies) hopes he can sell despite his sister Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) admonishing him constantly to leave it alone and return it to where it was found. The book turns out to be a Necronomicon or “Book of the Dead” and as fans of the series know; nothing good ever comes from one and thanks to playing old records left by a Priest describing his thoughts on the book; a summoning incantation is read and this causes Ellie to become possessed and unleash grotesque carnage and terror on her family. What follows is a gory and at times intense game of cat and mouse punctuated by moments of levity as the demonic infestation knows no end. The film has the over-the top- gore that is expected of the series and the makeup and effects are very effective. Writer? Director Lee Cronin has done a great job capturing the tone of the series while moving it forward as he cleverly incorporates lines and nods to the series without making them seem forced. Some may find the excess of blood too much but the series has always been known for taking things to the extreme as the blend of horror and comedic parody is what made the original film such a success. In the end “Evil Dead Rise” does enough to keep fans of the series happy and hopefully, we will be seeing a new entry in the series in the future. 3.5 stars out of 5
If you are expecting an Evil Dead movie... well, I guess it depends on what generation you're from. If you are expecting Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, the films of the unholy trilogy... you are going to be gravely disappointed. This isn't Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. This is, well, this is the Conjuring just like almost every other Horror movie past 2014. It doesn't really breathe "new life" into the franchise, instead it takes the Evil Dead and breathes the PG-13 Neo-Horror Movie breathe into a franchise that used to be a heck of a lot of campy immature fun. Here you get the same as everything else.
_Evil Dead Rise_ is mostly entertaining as a new entry of the _Evil Dead_ franchise, but it’s got some hiccups that should be ironed out in any potential sequel. The cast’s performances are all strong, with Sutherland masterfully making the most of her character with spine-tingling body language and unnerving dialogue, but as a fifth film in a well-known horror franchise, it’s disappointing to see that its most memorable moments are throwbacks to previous films. Ultimately, _Evil Dead Rise_’s biggest flaw is that it simply isn’t as good as its ten-year-old predecessor. Nevertheless, the film is fun, blood splattering carnage that will hopefully take the _Evil Dead_ franchise in a bold and exhilarating direction. Full review: https://boundingintocomics.com/2023/05/02/evil-dead-rise-review-new-mommy-demon-look-same-great-chainsaw-taste/
This is certainly a triumph for the visual and audio effects folks. Otherwise, I found it all a bit derivative and frankly a rather classless rehash of the much more entertaining original. It's tough to just keep on re-inventing these themes - they do tire, and as I reckon with the recent updates of the "Halloween" franchise, they maybe just rely too heavily on a current generation who were not around to see the originals in the cinema first time round, and who maybe just don't appreciate that the acting and the writing - though never exactly crucial to these plots - did have more of a role than just relying on well made-up (virtual) demons spinning around the ceiling emitting threatening shrieks. It's not terrible - it moves along quickly for ninety minutes and might just put you off a bath anytime shortly afterwards, but there just isn't any real sense of menace or jeopardy and to be honest I wasn't entirely sure that the family weren't nightmarish enough - before their visitor arrived. Perfectly watchable on the telly around Halloween with a drink in your hand, and it's a sort of gift that keeps on giving because you'll be able to watch it again the next year without the faintest recollection of what is going to happen!
Evil Dead Rise puts a creative spin on the classic franchise while also remaining faithful to the core experience. The story is not overly complex and admittedly somewhat generic, as the main characters find the Book of the Dead, read it, and all hell breaks loose. But the conditions surrounding this plot are what truly set it apart. For one, the high-rise setting was brilliant and created a very claustrophobic environment that worked really well. I found the earthquake to be an original idea not only for the discovery of The Necronomicon but also for the entrapment of our main characters. Speaking of our cast, this film does a really great job of setting up these characters. I genuinely liked all of them, which made it difficult to see some of them go, unlike in Evil Dead (2013). The familiar bond between them was palpable, and this could not have been done without a fantastic cast. Alyssa Sutherland is by far my favorite Deadite in the entire franchise. Her motherly connection was haunting, her facial expressions, and mannerisms are nightmare fuel. Lily Sullivan was genuinely fantastic as a final girl. Her badass nature to defend the children is incredible, and she had some really great moments to stand out in the film. The kids overall did fine, nothing that was too amazing but nothing that took away from the film either. The direction was my favorite part of the film by far. Lee Cronin did such a fantastic job with haunting camera work with subtle tilts and use of reflections. The action was top-notch, and the practical effects were amazing. So many scenes had me physically wincing with some insanely creative violence mixed with stomach-churning blood and wound effects. It is definitely a worthy successor to Evil Dead (2013) in the gore department. Overall, this may not be the best in the franchise, but I think it is one of the most refined. The story lacks in some areas, but the direction, performances, and violence really cement this as one of the best horror films of the year. Score: 84% ✅ Verdict: Great
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**"Evil Dead Rise"** (2023) is a captivating and bone-chilling horror film that left me on the edge of my seat. From the opening scene to the final credits, the movie delivers a relentless onslaught of terror and gore. The practical effects are outstanding, creating some truly gruesome and memorable moments that will haunt your nightmares. The performances are top-notch, with the cast fully committed to their roles and delivering intense and believable performances. The direction by Lee Cronin is masterful, as he expertly builds tension and suspense throughout the film. The setting of an urban high-rise adds a unique and claustrophobic atmosphere, amplifying the sense of dread. "Evil Dead Rise" is a must-watch for horror aficionados who crave a thrilling and visceral experience. Brace yourself for a wild ride that will leave you both terrified and exhilarated.
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