“Evil Dead Rise” is a bloody good time


“Evil Dead Rise” is the fifth film in the iconic horror franchise. (Courtesy of Warner Brothers)

Ian Lloyd, Staff Writer

“The Evil Dead,” released in 1981, was an extremely low-budget horror film made by a bunch of college friends in the woods during a few grueling weeks of filming.

It was one of the first films that proved to aspiring young filmmakers that you didn’t need much to make an effective movie. It also built up a reputation for being one of the most depraved films of all time as it got passed around video stores and groups of horror junkies.

As the cult following around it grew, so did director Sam Raimi’s career, until he was able to direct two sequels, “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness,” which both leaned further into the comedic elements of the franchise. In 2013, a remake simply titled “Evil Dead” was released, playing with the original idea of the very first film’s reception of being the goriest movie ever and cranking it up to eleven.

It’s been ten years since, and we have not had another film installment until now.

Beth (Lily Sullivan) visits her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and Ellie’s kids at their high-rise apartment in Los Angeles after she finds out she is pregnant. An ancient book is discovered under the building and is revealed to be a book of the dead. It unleashes an evil into the decrepit apartment building and takes possession of the different residents. Beth must protect her family from this ancient evil in hopes that they will not all end up dead by dawn.

The “Evil Dead” movies excel in expressive filmmaking and commitment to make the most gorey and entertaining films possible (Courtesy of Warner Brothers)

“Evil Dead Rise” made me want to barf multiple times, and I loved every second of it. This film contains some of the most brutal and visceral disgusting special effects we’ve ever seen in the current horror landscape, which is saying a lot during this current renaissance of the genre.

It lives up to the reputation this series has held for over four decades as one of the goriest and most unsettling films out there. It boosts the gross factor to the max, and it does not disappoint on the amount of blood you will see on screen.

Where other horror franchises are most known and appreciated for their atmosphere, masked antagonists or creative kills, “Evil Dead” stands as one of the most popular series for its emphasis on the craft of filmmaking.

The story of each Evil Dead film is much more interesting in what took place behind the scenes. The special effects, cinematography and level of commitment from the actors have always shone through as the touchstone of these movies. Watching supplemental material and the home releases of these movies is almost as fun as the films themselves.

“Evil Dead Rise” focuses on a bigger family dynamic in a more familiar household setting. (Courtesy of Warner Brothers)

While the practical effects are a huge star of the show, the biggest highlight is the performance from Sutherland. Every performer is killing it, but Sutherland sticks out as the main Deadite, a demon possessing the body of a human victim. The Deadites are known for their cruel mockery of their human prey as they go about slicing and dicing through the cast of characters, but “Evil Dead Rise” gives Sutherland a bigger presence that dominates the film with her chaotic nature.

It’s incredible that a franchise that has hopped around from different directors, actors and tonal consistencies has remained this reliable in quality for four decades. What began as an atmospheric gory indie film morphed into slapstick comedy, to medieval adventures, back into gritty horror and now somehow a balance between all of them.

Alyssa Sutherland plays the main villain, a mother that’s possessed by a demonic entity. (Courtesy of Warner Brothers)

“Evil Dead Rise” may not be the best the series has to offer, but it sure brings a whole lot to the table. It’s a wonderful continuation that brings beloved elements from ages ago and modernizes them into something new and exciting.

This film had me squirming around in my seat, peeking through my fingers and giggling with delight like a goblin. “Evil Dead Rise” fully delivers on a revolting good time that brings in the best elements from the original trilogy and the 2013 remake.

The “Evil Dead” series is my favorite horror franchise, and it’s safe to say this newest entry not only blew my expectations out of the water, but also opened up a new door for future installments to this influential series of films. If you’ve got the stomach for practical effects, gore galore, and cheesy one-liners, I insist you watch “Evil Dead Rise” with as many people as possible.