“Evil Dead Rise” is Bloody Good

by Christian Ramos on May 1, 2023

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Solid Rock Fist Up]

My experience with the Evil Dead franchise has been a rocky relationship. My resentment towards not getting invited to the musical version in high school by my friend group made a lasting impact on the bloody franchise and its gore fest of fright. I have since gotten over it and think that Sam Raimi’s films are great. It’s sinisterly delicious that a new franchise has spawned and offers a new round of shock value. Evil Dead Rise (directed by Lee Cronin) takes the evil out of the woods and into the big city to create its new nightmare. 

Band groupie Beth (Lily Sullivan) takes a surprise trip to visit her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) in Los Angeles. Ellie lives with her three kids Danny (Morgan Davies), Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) and Kassie (Nell Fisher) in a run down, near condemned high-rise in an already seedy neighborhood. The two sisters haven’t seen each other in years and this reunion was a long time coming. After a major earthquake that traps the three kids briefly in the basement parking garage. The earthquake ripped a hole in the ground and the kids discovered an entrance to a bank vault (the high rise was once a bank). Inside the vault, Danny discovers crosses, vinyl records and a tomb with a strange book inside. Upstairs, Danny, curious as to what is on the vinyls, plays them and as any fan of this franchise knows…don’t play the records! 

What happens next and almost immediately is sheer chaos as now, Ellie has succumbed to the evil forces that the book processes. The children and Beth play a game of cat and mouse in the apartment. The bad news is, the earthquake and the force of evil have destroyed any chance of escaping the top floor of their building. Can they outwit their mom or face even more evil than humanly possible? 

Evil Dead Rise is a pretty good return to form for this franchise. I wasn’t a huge fan of the 2013 film because I felt it was too excessive in the gore (which is kind of weird to think). This flick had way too much exposition for its own (I get it, sisters haven’t seen each other in years…family therapy…)good but once evil takes over Ellie, things go bad real quick. I loved all of the bloody ideas that Cronin has thrown in here to make skin crawl and heart rates increase.

Pay close attention to a scene involving a cheese grater that I was actually nauseous with! This film also does a good job in bringing back the nostalgia of the original franchise and throwing in a few easter eggs. One such easter egg involving the elevator is spot on that I pointed at the theater screen in sheer delight! 

This movie doesn’t need to be hyper-aware of what it is, because its main purpose is for audiences to have fun and scream a bit. And guess what? It does just that. Even in the opening scene, this movie gets you good right off and wants to keep you on your toes and will not let go until every drop of blood is spilt.

Christian Ramos is a classic film fan, having had the dream to host Turner Classic Movies for years now. He also has a large amount of Oscar trivia in his head, remembers dressing as Groucho Marx one Halloween, and cherishes the moment Julianne Moore liked his tweet.


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