Evil Dead Rise – Film Review

Evil Dead Rise – Film Review

Director – Lee Cronin
Writer – Lee Cronin
Stars – Mirabai Pease, Richard Crouchley, Anna-Maree Thomas

We meet our main protagonist Beth (Lily Sullivan) as she returns home from her job as a roadie with a band. She is visiting her sister, tattoo artist Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) along with her three kids. Her sister’s husband has recently left her, so she’s looking after the children alone. They live in a run-down apartment block, now scheduled for demolition.

An earthquake hits the building which rips holes in the walls and floor of the apartment block. This opens a hidden compartment that contains the Book of the Dead! There is also a nice collection of vinyl recordings of the book. Think of it as the Audiobook for the End of the World! When the teenage son Caleb (Richard Crouchley) stumbles upon the book, he takes it along with the vinyl records. He’s an aspiring DJ, so quickly gives the album a spin… and that’s where things start getting dangerous as the Evil Dead wake from their slumber!

This is the 5th volume of the Evil Dead franchise, the first feature film since Evil Dead (2013) which was branded a “soft reboot” of the series, only featuring Ash (Bruce Campbell) in a post-credits scene. In this film, Ash is nowhere to be seen and the reboot is complete.

One of the more interesting aspects of this film is that it has an Irish director! Lee Cronin is a relatively new name to the Horror scene, having worked mainly on a series of short films and TV shows until this point. If you’re familiar with the series 50 States of Fright, he directed 2 episodes, but this is his most high-profile work to date. The film does not save on the blood and gore. In fact, the film is said to feature 6,500 litres of fake blood, which must be some type of record?

Much like the reboot from 2013, the big difference in this film is the lack of humour. The original Sam Raimi films were very much in the Comedy Horror genre, with a variety of sight gags running through the work. This is a substantially darker affair, moving it closer to Japanese horror, which an emphasis on psychological horror and tension. While this is not devoid of humour it is definitely a more serious affair.

If you’re a fan of the more sinister edge of Horror films, there is much to enjoy in this tale, as the Evil ones try to find ways to possess the family. There are a few surprises along the way as it refuses to follow some of the traditional tropes of horror films. While it could be too serious a work for some fans of the original, it is a well-written and crafted tale that will be enough to give you a scare before bedtime!

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