Review of hit horror franchise’s latest edition, ‘Evil Dead Rise’

May 16, 2023 Mario Bautista 1645 views

Evil1Evil2THE ‘Evil Dead’ horror film series was started in 1981 by Director Sam Raimi with Bruce Campbell as the main protagonist called Ash. This was followed by ‘Evil Dead 2’ in 1987, by ‘Army of Darkness’ in 1992 and ‘Evil Dead’ reboot in 2013. There’s also a TV series that ran from 2015 to 2018, “Ash Vs. Evil Dead”.

Now comes “Evil Dead Rise”, with totally different new characters (played by unknowns) and now directed by Lee Cronin, an Irish director who debuted in an indie Irish horror film, “The Hole in the Ground”, in 2019. The new movie is his big break in Hollywood and it’s a big hit worldwide so don’t be surprised if there’d be another “Evil Dead” flick a couple of years from now.

The movie starts with a prologue in an idyllic lake where a possessed young woman suddenly scalps her cousin then decapitates her boyfriend. From there, the movie introduces us to Beth (Lily Sullivan), a guitar technician who just returned from a gig abroad.

She has just found out that she’s pregnant and she goes to visit her older sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), a single mom and tattoo artist who was abandoned by her husband. She now lives with her three kids in a Los Angeles apartment inside a decrepit, dilapidated building that is just about to be demolished.

Beth aims to consult Ellie about her condition but an earthquake occurs. Ellie’s three kids, the teenagers Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) and Danny (Morgan Davies) and the little girl Kassie (Nell Fisher), went out to buy pizza and they’re in the building’s basement parking when the earthquake occurs.

Danny sees the ground opening up and a hole shows him a hidden chamber where he finds some mysterious items, including an old book and some vinyl phonograph records from 1923 that he brings to their home. He thinks the items can be sold to help their mom financially.

But it turns out the items will only help summon an evil entity that possesses the bodies of its victims. The first to be possessed by the unseen entity is their mother Ellie while she is inside the elevator.

The unsuspecting Beth didn’t have an inkling this would be a do or die battle for survival for her, as she’ll be facing a nightmarish encounter with evil. She becomes the primary protector of Ellie’s three children against their own mother who attacks them and also their neighbors.

“Evil Dead Rise” is definitely not for the weak-hearted who’ll just find it all disgusting. It is a veritable blood bath with brutal decapitations and dismemberments. We also see eyes being gouged, heads being ruthlessly bashed and people being butchered with chainsaw and garbage shredding and grinding machines.

But the fans of the “Evil Dead” franchise will surely enjoy all the violence and gore and the blood-splattering carnage liberally exhibited all throughout the movie.

The movie is obviously not that expensive as, aside from the opening lake scene, the entire movie all happens inside an apartment building setting. Its predecessors happen mostly in cabins in the woods, like “Evil Dead 2013” that also starred unknown stars who have remained unknown.

But it delivers the goods and horror fans will surely relish all the terrifying make up and special effects in this new outing, spiced up with gallons upon gallons of blood to make this a gruesome buffet of yuckiness that some fans perversely hunger for.

The lead character is obviously Beth who, with her shotgun protecting Kassie, becomes a version of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley as a demon fighter. Honestly, though, there were times when we rejoice when the dumb characters, who obviously have not seen other horror flicks, are punished and maimed.

Foremost is Danny, who brought home all the devilish artifacts and book of the dead from the underground cavern that unleashed the demonic creature to possess and terrorize all of them. He should have known better but then, all the ghastly consequences wouldn’t have happened in their building if not for his stupidity.

We’re just wondering though: Danny found the incantations in vinyl records from the 1920s. Were such records already in existence by then?