Evil Dead Rise sinks viewers into a blood bath

Thu. April 20, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Late for Easter, but early for Halloween, the Evil Dead franchise has risen from the grave at an unusual time of the year in 2023. It is springtime for Evil Dead Rise and the setting has outgrown the woods and moved into the concrete jungle.

The original Evil Dead came out in 1981 and a lot has changed since then. Evil Dead Rise works as both a fifth installment and a standalone film at the same time. New viewers won't necessarily have to do a lot of homework to sink their teeth into this particular storyline and should keep their eyes away from any strange, old books! 

That is part of the problem that happens to these sisters Beth and Ellie in a Los Angeles apartment joined by Ellie's three kids. Curiosity may kill the cat and by the way, whatever happened to that frightened animal stuck in the vent?

Things begin to spin out of control after an amateur DJ puts the needle on the record to play some haunting dialogue from the past. New meaning is given to a dusty groove as the Deadites come to life inside Ellie and terrorize everyone within reach.

The creators pay homage to past movie moments such as cables in the elevator hoisting Ellie in the air similar to the grabby tree branches in the original movie. There are other easter eggs during a chainsaw battle and a kitchen scene from Hell. The tenants inside the dilapidated building are trapped for most of the film and audiences may feel claustrophobic as well in this dark, troublesome atmosphere full of pitfalls.

This gruesome endeavor is not for the faint of heart and the pace is frantic for over an hour and a half. Several of the actors take a blood bath consisting of over 1,700 gallons of a red, soupy concoction that must have been difficult to wash off for them. 

Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin introduced the new Evil Dead movie virtually at some nationwide screenings and knows there is a lot riding on Rise. He wrote and directed this piece after Sam Raimi gave his blessing and does the Dead justice.

Several cast members originate from Australia such as both lead actresses Alyssa Sutherland as Ellie and Lily Sullivan as Beth and also transgender performer Morgan Davies who is Danny, part of the family unit. There's not a weak performance among any of them in what must have been a tough environment to perform in.

From three seasons of a Starz television show called Ash vs. Evil Dead to a madcap musical, the loyal cult of Evil Dead will never die and Rise demonstrates there is clearly more to come in the future. The demon has risen once again and if ticket sales are good, he will return!

Evil Dead Rise possesses theater spaces on April 21, 2023.