Evil Dead Rise Movie Review: It is 1981 when Sam Raimi (recently returned to directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) takes five boys to a mountain chalet to make them clash with a ruthless evil demon. Thus was born Evil Dead, one of the most famous cults of horror cinema, able to take the rules of the genre and make something new.
42 years, two sequels, a remake, and a television series later, we are now moving from the woods to the city with Evil Dead Rise, directed by Lee Cronin and produced by Raimi himself. A change of location that therefore updates the saga, in what is in all respects a fifth-chapter reboot.
The new location, yes, but also other elements which, in line with the reboot policy, aim to bring this new film into line with current trends and sensibilities, of cinema but not only. However, it is useless to go around it, Evil Dead Rise is designed to scare and manages to arouse fear, a lot. He already does so starting from the new context: a dismal condominium in Los Angeles.
Here, among corridors characterized by semi-darkness and wide open and abandoned spaces, lives Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), tattoo artist and mother of three, who is visited by her sister Beth (Lily Sullivan), sound engineer for a rock band and recently discovered pregnant.
|Evil Dead Rise|
A family without fathers, therefore, can only count on the strength of its union. However, the reunion of the two sisters is compromised by the discovery of an ancient book, full of disturbing illustrations made with blood. A find that, on its own, adds further tension to the story.
Then just listening to some recordings of what is written in it is enough to unleash a flesh and blood demon on the family. And this is where the ultimate horror takes over: having taken possession of Ellie, the demon will force the remaining protagonists into a cruel, violent, and primordial battle for survival.
Evil Dead Rise is pure horror madness
If the 2013 remake shocked viewers with the high level of atrocities and blood, Evil Dead Rise is ready to shock even more those who will have the courage to face his vision. In the course of its 97 minutes of duration, the film offers a continuous alternation between a simple state of alert and moments of pure horror. There are no breaks, and there is no possibility to breathe sighs of relief.
Just like when you go on a roller coaster until you get off you experience a continuous sense of dread (but also excitement, for the bravest ones), so Evil Dead Rise from when it begins and up to its titles of queue forces you to deal with shocking mutilations, gory elements, jumpscare, endless blood and much more.
|Evil Dead Rise|
What we see in the trailer, which is already particularly impressive, is only part of what the film has to offer. This will certainly please fans of the genre with strong stomachs, who in front of sequences such as the one in which a grater is used or those involving the dismemberment of bodies, will find visual solutions and staging ideas made with a certain taste.
Without forgetting the demonic mother played by Sutherland: a memorable presence, frightening already only for the makeup that characterizes her. Elements, of these, make Evil Dead Rise a decidedly convincing horror that, even by taking shots typical of Raimi's aesthetics or providing homages to horror classics, fully hits the goal of scaring. Maybe even doing too much.
That certain fear of more ambitious writing
So much horror, therefore, which is undoubtedly what a film like Evil Dead Rise must offer its viewers, but the attention paid to its writing has been lacking. Of course, we have a change of location that "rejuvenates" the saga (in a very similar way to what happened with Scream VI), two emancipated mothers, and current reflections related to the theme of motherhood and the non-traditional family.
Yet Cronin (also the film's screenwriter as well as its director) seems to have lacked the courage to use these elements more ambitiously. The fear generated, for example, by the spaces in which the protagonists move is due more to a direction that is careful to enhance these environments, than to a writing that instead limits itself to using them in the most canonical way.
Of course, the visual aspect in a horror takes precedence, and as already reported Evil Dead Rise excels in this. But the lack of support from a less predictable, less canonical screenplay makes itself felt in several moments. Thus, for example, a greater in-depth analysis of the protagonists is missing, which could instead have given further value both to their presence in the film and to the film itself.
However, the most obvious consequence of this deficiency is the lack of a sense of unpredictability, through which one could have injected into the spectator a terror capable of continuing even after leaving the theater. Evil Dead Rise instead offers a temporary shock, but considering the level of this shock, that's probably okay too.