'Evil Dead Rise' is Exactly What You Expect
Hollywood reboot lacks original charm
The Evil Dead might just be the most inspiring movie ever made. When a 20-year old Sam Raimi raised a couple hundred thousand dollars and went to the Tennessee woods with his friends to shoot a horror film, he unknowingly inspired every young cinephile with dreams of making their own movie. That micro-budget energy is where the film found most of its appeal, so it is strange that Hollywood has now attempted twice to reboot the series as a conventional horror film.
The newest, Evil Dead Rise is certainly well-made and entertaining, but it lacks Raimi's frenetic energy and thus, lacks much of the original's charm. After an earthquake, two sisters, Beth and Ellie (Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland) find themselves trapped in their Los Angeles apartment building with no power. Things take a horrifying turn when one of Ellie's children discovers an ancient book that summons soul-sucking demons. The family soon finds themselves fighting for survival as the demons possess various tenants and they will not stop their attacks until everyone in the building is dead by dawn.
Much like its predecessors, the film is overflowing with grisly setpieces and stomach-churning gore effects. Also, the urban location is a nice departure from the films' usual setting of a cabin in the woods (or medieval England), but it doesn't really take full advantage of that intriguing new setting. The film has all the ingredients of an Evil Dead movie, but the low-budget heart and goofy humor is severely lacking. That said, Evil Dead Rises can still be enjoyable in its own right, just not as enjoyable as Raimi's classics.
Written and directed by Lee Cronin // Starring Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher, Gabrielle Echols, Mia Challis, Jayden Daniels, Tai Wano, and Bruce Campbell // 96 minutes // rated 'R'