Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon MOVIES: Evil Dead Rise - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

MOVIES: Evil Dead Rise - Review

Share on Reddit

About as consistent as the Scream movies; the Evil Dead franchise is one of the last few rarities of a franchise with this many entries: something with not a bad instalment between them, and every film that we’ve had has been nothing short of excellent. I’m happy to report that Evil Dead Rise is no different, a reimagining with a voice of its own: demons from the underworld unleashed on an unsuspecting apartment building that’s about to be demolished causes instant havoc for a family going through issues ripe for a demonic intervention.

Lee Cronin delivers an instant improvement from his previous directorial effort, The Hole in the Ground, by taking the Evil Dead formula and making sure, that well, there isn’t a formula. The fast-paced action is chaotic and refreshing, clearly different in tone from the campier Sam Raimi originals, and different again from Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead reboot in 2013. This opens with one of the coolest title cards ever and then flashes back to an apartment where you’re left wondering how we’re going to end up at the flashforward, and it’s done in a way that keeps you guessing right from the start. What happens to this family? Do they get out ok? Cronin instantly creates a likeable dynamic – troublesome punk rock “groupie” Lily Sullivan's Beth finds herself in trouble with her family before they are possessed by demons; and it isn’t a spoiler to say that Alyssa Sutherland’s likeable but overworked, overtired mother is quickly possessed and turned against the children: music-head Danny (Morgan Davies), Nell Fisher’s Kassie and Gabrielle Echols’ Bridget. Beth must get her own act together and get the children out alive – as the army of the dead keeps getting larger.

The humour is there, and the film’s brevity keeps the absurd situations in check. The kills are gorier than Scream VI, it doesn’t care as much for its characters. You’re watching a mean movie; a movie that knows it’s mean and isn’t afraid to revel in that. The absurd premise that sets up the movie is classic Evil Dead; teenagers fucking around and finding out – and the family dynamic gives the film an ensemble that’s different from what we’ve had before, the solo adventures of Ash or the crowd of 2013’s film. All are flawed, all are human – and all are easily tempted by the underworld. The film makes you think from the get-go that anyone can die and it isn’t afraid to maximise its gruesome action set pieces to terrify you – there’s more than one kill where I was wondering “how are they going to top that?” and then they do, several seconds later. The camerawork is inventive and allows for such creativity, a moment when one of the characters peers through a door keyhole to witness a massacre is creatively filmed as they come. Evil Dead has a long-standing history of making the most out of minimal locations, and Rise plays tribute to the genre – keeping it tight and personal. The film also gets over the main hurdle that many horror films around one location fail to from the off: "why don't they just leave?” with appropriate disregard for realism in a way that’s too much fun not to like.

The film is more grounded and down to earth than the bombastic 2013 remake; a true gore-fest of extreme proportions, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t earned. The film feels like a combination of what has come before, picking the best out of Raimi and Alvarez, but its biggest strength is allowing Alyssa Sutherland to go full tilt in her role – hamming it up to the extreme in a movie that showers her with blood (1,500 gallons were used) and has you cheer for what follows. You’ll never look at a cheese grater quite the same way again.

Sign Up for the SpoilerTV Newsletter where we talk all things TV!


SpoilerTV Available Ad-Free!

Support SpoilerTV is now available ad-free to for all subscribers. Thank you for considering becoming a SpoilerTV premmium member!
Latest News