Usually when a film series is embarking on a fifth outing the challenges
of keeping things fresh and original yet being new and creative can be a
Horror series ranging from “Halloween” to “Friday the 13th”, “SAW”, and
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” all faced issues with moving the series along
yet trying to stay true to the original film that inspired them and in
every case; failing to fully capture what made the original film a hit.
“Evil Dead Rise” is not only the latest entry into the series but a bold
take on the cinematic series as it abandons the remote cabin setting of
the first two films and the reboot in favor of an urban setting.
The film does open in a remote lakeside locale before jumping a day
earlier to California where estranged sisters Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland)
and Beth (Lilly Sullivan) reunite. Beth has been working as a guitar
technician and bristles that her sister refers to her as a groupie.
Ellie is raising three children after their father left and informs her
sister that the building they are living in is scheduled to be demolished
so they will have to move soon which is a shock to Beth as she has learned
that she is pregnant and is trying to figure out her life all the while
seeing what she thought would be a source of stability for her upended.
The arrival of an earthquake allows access to a hidden area in the parking
garage of their building and since the locale was a former bank; the kids
soon find a hidden book and records which the only son Danny (Morgan
Davies) hopes he can sell despite his sister Bridget (Gabrielle Echols)
admonishing him constantly to leave it alone and return it to where it was
The book turns out to be a Necronomicon or “Book of the Dead” and as fans
of the series know; nothing good ever comes from one and thanks to playing
old records left by a Priest describing his thoughts on the book; a
summoning incantation is read and this causes Ellie to become possessed
and unleash grotesque carnage and terror on her family.
What follows is a gory and at times intense game of cat and mouse
punctuated by moments of levity as the demonic infestation knows no end.
The film has the over-the top- gore that is expected of the series and the
makeup and effects are very effective. Writer? Director Lee Cronin has done
a great job capturing the tone of the series while moving it forward as he
cleverly incorporates lines and nods to the series without making them
Some may find the excess of blood too much but the series has always been
known for taking things to the extreme as the blend of horror and comedic
parody is what made the original film such a success.
In the end “Evil Dead Rise” does enough to keep fans of the series happy
and hopefully, we will be seeing a new entry in the series in the future.
3.5 stars out of 5