Reviewed by Cliff Homewood
Have you heard of the reverse exorcist?
It’s where the demon gets the priest out of the child
I was worried before seeing Evil Dead Rise as reviews were good whilst not mentioning humour and the Evil Dead trilogy are comedy horror classics, so much so that the third was more comedy than horror. The last po-faced remake I gave up after 20 mins finding it dull.
What makes an Evil Dead movie? First of all the camera mounted on a motorbike creating the scary POV of an unknown entity racing towards our heroes created atmosphere and assisted Sam Raimi’s aim of cutting the first half of a horror movie and getting straight to the action. The film starts strongly but has pacing issues before it gets going, albeit briefly. However it dispensed with the zoom camera rather quickly, so a key Evil Deadism was absent for most of the movie.
Next the locale was a tenement block as opposed to a cabin in the woods which felt more REC than Evil Dead although Ash vs the Evil Dead did successfully utilise different locations. The Book of the Dead does appear with quite a cool re-skin (sorry) but it feels like a generic Necromicon movie, reminiscent in scenes of better films.
The film does have some tense moments but lacks the overall pervasive dread of an Evil Dead film, the tension is sporadic. Characters weren’t remarkable enough, which can be done either through a good script or good acting. If you haven’t got both you are in trouble. Alyssa Sutherland portrayed a good relatable mum. I didn’t find the sexually ambiguous teenagers particularly relatable and the little girl just reminded me how good Drew Barrymore was.
The tone was wrong, serious. The genesis of the Evil Dead was Sam Raimi wanted to do the three Stooges in splatter. Splatter slapstick. I found myself questioning the motivation of the Deadites, how do they pick who they possess? Not something I’d normally do. In The Evil Dead classics they take glee in their actions, having fun toying with our heroes, giving them depth.
The finale appeared to come out of nowhere, was not well set up.
I am disappointed this generic horror movie garnered such good reviews. For me Renfield captured the comedy horror of The Evil Dead better but wasn’t that scary. This had one slightly amusing joke and a couple of failed attempts. The Thing is funnier and that’s not a comedy horror. It’s full of Easter Eggs if that’s your thing and if you are after a standard horror movie it fits fine. If however you are after The Evil Dead trilogy quality join the queue.