Evil Dead Rise SXSW review

March 16, 202380/1005 min
Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Nell Fisher , Morgan Davies
Written by
Lee Cronin
Directed by
Lee Cronin
Run Time
1h 37min
Release Date
April 21st, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

            Few film series have the track record of the Evil Dead franchise, as there isn’t a weak one in the link. With the release of the first trailer for this latest chapter, Evil Dead Rise, my feeling was that this wasn’t going to start disappointing a fan of the series, and boy was I right. Writer/director Lee Cronin does not hold back on brining the terror and creepiness that you want, as well as a lot of blood. So much blood.

Opening in the familiar wooded setting the franchise is known for, we meet a trio of friends, one who isn’t feeling too well. Soon that not feeling too well turns deadly for the other two as something seems to have possessed their friend. We are taken one day prior where we meet Beth (Lily Sullivan) as she discovers that she is about to have a baby. Beth decides to go to the person who is always there for her, her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), and her three kids. Not long after she gets there,there is an earthquake and while it just shakes things up, it exposes a hidden chamber in the garage. Danny (Morgan Davies), Ellie’s son, decides to go and check it out, against the wishes of his two sisters, Kassie (Nell Fisher) and Bridget (Gabrielle Echols). In this chamber he finds some old records and a book that fans of Evil Dead know very well. Not making the best decision, Danny brings it back to their apartment and even plays the records, which is a reading from the book that is about to unleash hell on them. Ellie is the chosen vessel and things are about to get crazy and it’s up to Beth to get them out alive.

Unlike the previous installments, Evil Dead Rise is led by a mostly female cast, and with that proves that a woman definitely knows how to deal with some evil. When it comes to plot, it is pretty simple, a little set-up of the ensemble, letting evil loose, and putting that ensemble through bloody hell. Cronin doesn’t rush into it though, as he shows a knack for delivering slow-burn horror, that will have you looking away at times with expectations on what is coming. The gore game is strong and there is enough blood to fill an elevator, so much blood that apparently they actually ran out where they were filming.

Evil Dead Rise is a welcomed chapter into one of horror’s best franchises. Although bringing a few changes, there still a lot of similarities to the previous films and Cronin handles it perfectly, including winks and nods to the original film. The cast is fantastic, with Sutherland and Sullivan, both putting their stamps on a franchise that is sure to continue. Evil Dead Rise will not disappoint Evil Dead fans or any fans of the horror genre as it’s an exercise in grueling goriness that will leave everyone deeply satisfied and possibly give others a few sleepless nights.

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