Evil Dead Rise – Movie Review

Evil Dead Rise movie poster

There are movies that slow build to something great. And then there are movies that within the opening minutes you can tell—you can feel, deep within your own wretched soul—that you’re in for your treat. Enter Evil Dead Rise.

When the title splashes on screen following several unsettling minutes and an absolutely disgusting moment that had me, Mr. Unflinchable, flinch, I was already on board and salivating over what the Book of the Dead had in store for me—and the poor unfortunate creatures on screen who were about to suffer in imaginable ways.

Evil Dead Rise, a stand-alone entry in the Evil Dead franchise, is a well-executed and efficiently told film that may not do anything unique or novel but delivers upon its promise in spades. Packed with body horror and stellar performances, Evil Dead Rise may not be the scariest movie you’ll ever see—but it is legitimately terrifying.

Unlike other Evil Dead movies, this one is set in an apartment building in the city, which allows the movie to flex away from some of the franchise’s conventions—though the franchise has never much cared for those (remember, this is a series where the third entry is Army of Darkness, a movie so unlike the first two the average person doesn’t even know it’s an Evil Dead movie).

Writer/director Lee Cronin nails the horror experience fans will want, layering the thrills on top of a sturdy cast. Lily Sullivan is great, but it’s her on-screen sister played by Alyssa Sutherland who, possessed by a not-so-pleasant demon, sets the tone.

I also loved that no one is safe, including kids. While I generally believe horror movies don’t let their protagonists survive nearly enough, in Evil Dead Rise you legitimately don’t know who is going to make it, if anyone. And yet you care—you don’t want everyone to die. You hope they don’t. But if they kick the bucket, then they better do it in glorious fashion (like ending up in the bucket).

Evil Dead Rise is gory, unsettling, and terrifying—words that should make any horror fan salivate.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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