Sunday, April 30, 2023

Evil Dead Rise - Movie Review

The Movie: Evil Dead Rise

The Director: Lee Cronin

The Cast: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, Nell Fisher, Mirabai Pease, Richard Crouchley, Anna-Maree Thomas, Mark Mitchinson, Jayden Daniels

The Story: A twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose 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.

The Review:
The Evil Dead franchise is one of the cornerstones of the horror genre going all the way back to 1981's The Evil Dead which featured an iconic performance from the now legendary actor Bruce Campbell. One of the only negative things about this latest installment is that Mr. Campbell is nowhere to be found although, and I almost hate to say this, he wasn't really needed to make this the great movie that it turned out to be. Director Lee Cronin, who is probably best known for his debut feature The Hole in the Ground (full disclosure: I never saw that movie), has put together one of the best horror movies I have seen in quite some time.

The story is mostly contained to a run down apartment building which of course makes for plenty of opportunities to provide chilling and threatening backdrops. The cast of characters is very well thought out a mom, her children, and her sister who happens to pop in for a visit. Supporting characters are given just enough to do to make them worthwhile without spending too much time making us get to know all of them. I would say that's one of the keys to this movie working so well is its efficiency. There isn't much time wasted on excessive exposition or moments meant to do nothing but fill a run time quota. The editing is very clean and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

I'm not going to go into the lore and backstory of the franchise because, to be honest, I'm not very knowledgable about it, I should probably do a rewatch at some point, but it seems like the filmmakers took great care in getting things right. Another thing that Cronin gets right is the amount of blood you are going to see while watching an Evil Dead movie and there is plenty of gore to along with it as well. I won't spoil anything here but yes, there is a scene where a massive amount of blood is used and it's as amazing as you are hoping it will be.

If the Academy Awards had an award for acting performance in a horror movie, Alyssa Sutherland might just have wrapped it up with the work she puts in as Ellie, the mom who you've seen in the trailers that goes all demonic on everyone. Just what we see in those trailers is more than enough to scare the whatever you want scared out of you, but Sutherland then goes on to fill the entire film with so many creepy and scary moments, it will be a character you won't forget any time soon.

After watching this movie, I'm really excited to see what the franchise can come up with in future installments, yes there will be more. The story sets things up, actually in multiple ways, for demons to rise from the depths of hell to terrorize not just characters who may have survived this time around but really just about anyone. As I mentioned, the story is pretty well contained to a single location so just imagine what could happen if the infamous book and all of its evil ways gets unleashed on an entire city. I really hope we get to find out.

The Verdict:
Evil Dead Rise is a genuinely scary horror movie, a blood soaked fright fest, and one of the most entertaining films I have watched in some time. Go watch this movie as soon as you can. Horror fans, this is the one you've been waiting for.

Special guest review: "Yes, I did a lot of screaming last night." - Zomb-Ina

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