It’s been some years since we were introduced to the Book of the Dead, 42 years later we get the latest in the franchise with Evil Dead Rise from writer/director Lee Cronin as the story moves from that cabin in the woods to the city.
Evil Dead Rise tells the twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan. Their reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable, with lots of gore and blood that the squeamish may look away from the screen from time to time.
But don’t think we miss out on a Cabin in the Woods moment as Evil Dead Rise starts with a visit to a lake and a strange triangular-looking cabin that we know is going to have something bad happen, after a rather hairpulling moment and the introduction to the movie with the titles we are taken to the city with a line of text that simply says, “One Day Earlier”.
The movie then slowly builds up the tension as we are introduced to the first sister Beth (Lily Sulivan) before then heading to the apartment block where we meet the second sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and the rest of the family, Danny (Morgan Davies), Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) and introducing Kassie (Nell Fisher).
After Danny, Bridget and Kassie return after getting pizza, an earth tremor reveals something hidden in the apartment block and Danny discovers the third Book of the Dead (yes third, more on that later), as we all know this is a sign that all hell is going to happen with the deadites wanting souls!
I have to say that I wasn’t too sure about another Evil Dead movie or even if this one would be yet another requel/reboot, but I have to say that Evil Dead Rise is a fun movie to watch, no I don’t mean that it’s a laugh out loud movie (that stopped with Evil Dead (2013), this movie is fun to watch for not only does it have some great Easter Eggs to the previous movies such as the flying eyeball and more, but it has plenty going on to make this an Evil Dead movie that works well for the franchise.
The gory effects look great on the big screen and there is plenty of that red stuff flowing to grant the movie that 18 certificate. I’m not sure if I would say there are many jumpscares as I think I’ve got so used to horror movies these days that it takes a bit to make me jump, but I’m sure that there were a few people jumping in their seats during last night’s screening. I know there were a few moments with people looking away from some gory scenes, which is always a good sign.
Evil Dead Rise has a superb sound mix to keep you on your toes, the rear speakers give you those unnerving moments that something is behind you or just over your shoulder, something that always works well in a horror. The movie also looks good, everything is set in one night and the darkness works very well in the apartment building that is set for demolition with the decor and subdued lighting that is unsettling.
The cast all work together nicely and you do get the feeling of a family that has problems to start with and having the evil coming to drag them to hell brings out the great acting that they bring to the screen.
As I mentioned earlier Evil Dead Rise brings us a new Book of the Dead, the third book! If you’ve seen the original Evil Dead trilogy, you may remember that in Army of Darkness, there were three books that Ash had to choose from. In an interview with Director/writer Lee Cronin in Empire, Cronin said:
In one of the early meetings I had with Sam Raimi, I said, “You know the way in Army Of Darkness, there’s three [Necronomicons]? You had one, [Evil Dead 2013 director] Fede [Alvarez] had one, I’m going to take the other one.”
It gave me that platform to nudge things forward, and also to showcase that we live in a world where there is more than one copy of the Necronomicon. Those books may all have slightly different personalities – it’s not exactly the same book, necessarily, that Ash had in the cabin. But it’s very, very firmly related. It could even be more dangerous…
Does Bruce Campbell have a cameo in Evil Dead Rise?
Yes he does, but you aren’t to see Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead Rise, but you’ll hear him in the movie. Campbell is the voice of an opposing priest in a recording about the Naturom Demonto. Campbell also has another cameo with some foley work, Director Lee Cronin has said, “There’s a scene around an eye where there’s some munching and Bruce created that sound by eating an apple furiously for me”. So look out for an eye-chomping scene for that one.
Does Evil Dead Rise have an end credits scene?
It’s been something that a lot of movies seem to have these days, but Evil Dead Rise doesn’t have an end credits scene, so don’t worry you’re quite safe to leave the cinema before the credits finish rolling.
Evil Dead Rise is in Cinemas now.