Forty-two years after the release of director Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, the franchise it inspired has split into two branches. On one side, you have the horrifically goofy adventures of Bruce Campbell’s Ashley Joanne Williams – with the comedic tonal shift in 1987’s Evil Dead II and 1992’s Army Of Darkness preserved in recent years with the 2015 Starz television series Ash vs. Evil Dead and 2022’s Evil Dead: The Game. On the other side, however, you have movies that aim to deliver on the memorable promise of the original: the ultimate experience in grueling terror. Director Fede Álvarez ferociously took that baton and ran with it in the making of 2013’s Evil Dead (a film with some of the most savage visuals of any wide release in the 21st century), and that reboot/remake/spin-off essentially paved the way for the creation of Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise.
Evil Dead Rise
Release Date: April 21, 2023
Directed By: Lee Cronin
Written By: Lee Cronin
Starring: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, and Nell Fisher
Rating: R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, and some language
Runtime: 97 minutes
So what makes for a satisfying Evil Dead story in the year 2023? Specific canon isn’t a priority, but there is certain beloved iconography that is a must; the notorious book known as the Necronomicon has to be at the center of everything; and, of course, there needs to be gallons upon gallons of blood. Evil Dead Rise is a film that checks all of these boxes with demonic glee, offering up a hellish, horrific fright-fest in so doing, and while it never quite reaches the legendary heights of its predecessors, it’s a worthy and welcome addition to the franchise.
One of the bits of iconography mostly left behind with the new movie is the classic cabin in the woods setup, as Evil Dead Rise keeps the action urban this time around – specifically within the confines of a Los Angeles apartment building. Beth (Lily Sullivan), a guitar technician who spends most of her life on rock tours, reunites with her estranged sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) when she learns that she is pregnant and needs help, but her timing couldn’t be worse because Ellie and her three kids, Bridget (Gabrielle Echols), Danny (Morgan Davies), and Kassie (Nell Fisher), are in the process of moving out of their home.
When an earthquake hits and cracks the floor of the building’s parking garage, Caleb discovers a creepy book and a collection of records, and after bringing the discovers up to his room, he, being an aspiring DJ, spins the vinyl up on his record player. Unfortunately for the family, what he listens to is a recording of a group of priests reading a passage from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis – The Book Of The Dead – and the simple audible recitation resurrects a long dormant evil. The first person that this evil runs into is Ellie, transforming her into a chaotic, soul-hungry Deadite, and Beth must summon every maternal instinct she has to try and protect her nieces and nephew from their now-monstrous mom.
Evil Dead Rise doesn’t work quite as well as 2013’s Evil Dead, but it still has a lot to offer franchise and genre fans.
Judging the film as a new entry into the Evil Dead series, Evil Dead Rise is more appropriately lined up against 2013’s Evil Dead than Sam Raimi’s original trilogy, both because they are part of the same “generation” and because the comparison best highlights what it does well versus its areas of lacking. For example, in the same way that Fede Álvarez’s movie works to create a metaphor for drug addiction with the supernatural horror at the center of the plot, Lee Cronin’s sets up an allegory about motherhood – which is effective, though the commentary doesn’t click on quite the same level. It can also certainly be said that the new release unleashes some bold and extreme efforts to shock and traumatize audiences (including creative use of a cheese grater, some eye biting, and the formation of a nightmarish Deadite abomination), but it also doesn’t deliver anything that melts your brain quite like seeing Jane Levy’s Mia split her tongue by licking a box cutter or Jessica Lucas‘ Olivia carve up her face with a slice of broken mirror.
While some in-franchise comparisons don’t do it favors, Evil Dead Rise is nonetheless a horrific and bloody ride that unquestionably has a deep love for the films that preceded it in the series, and it finds some great ways to play with classic elements. Despite it being set in a city instead of the middle of the woods, the film finds effective and scary ways to cut the characters off from the rest of world, maintaining a key level of peril, and in collaboration with cinematographer Dave Garbett, Cronin finds some terrific moments to homage the auteur style of Sam Raimi. The Necronomicon has a terrific new look that comes with some fascinating fresh history, and audiences who go into the movie craving some chainsaw action certainly won’t leave disappointed.
If you ever think that Evil Dead Rise is pulling some of its punches, just wait five minutes.
As far as standing out within the franchise is concerned, one key element in play is the inclusion of children – which ends up having an impact on both the pacing and the stakes. Unlike The Evil Dead and the 2013 film, this isn’t a cinematic experience that can be described as “unrelenting,” as there are breaks in the action that cool things down a bit as Beth tries her best to both physically and emotionally protect her nieces and nephew. But it’s also worth noting that just as you might think that the movie is playing things too safe with its young characters, Cronin says, “Not so fast.” Saying too much more would end up spoiling the fun, but it certainly can be said that the horrific ride that it puts you on isn’t softened in any way because there are kids involved, and that ultimately heightens everything in Evil Dead Rise.
The fifth film in the Evil Dead canon is arguably its weakest, but that really says more about the strength of the franchise than its latest chapter, as it will likely be reflected upon as one of the best horror movies of 2023. Devilish and sick ideas are executed with exciting panache, gasp and scream-inducing moments are ubiquitous, and as a cherry on top, we get an awesome new franchise heroine in Lily Sullivan’s badass Beth. Evil Dead Rise is the treat that gore-hounds want it to be – a true crowd-pleaser for midnight movie-goers – and we can only hope that we won’t have to wait another full decade for the next feature.
Der obige Text ist eine maschinelle Übersetzung. Quelle: https://www.cinemablend.com/movies/evil-dead-rise-review?rand=21966