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Updated: Apr 20, 2023

"We get Easter Eggs, the iconic Chainsaw and over 1,700 gallons of blood. Complete with a blood-filled elevator scene that rivals the 300 gallons of blood used in The Overlook Hotel from the "Shining"."

Ten years have passed without an addition to the "Evil Dead" franchise. Creator Sam Rami has been very particular about his cult classic movie series. Which is why there have only been 5 "Evil Dead" movies over the last 40 plus years. Written and directed by Lee Cronin and with Bruce Campbell as an Executive Producer, Fans gets a fresh installment that gives nods to horror classics like "The Shining". Originally slated to air on HBO Max, test audiences loved the movie so much that the female centered horror was picked up to air in theaters.

Cronin whose feature debut was 2019’s "Hole in the Ground" was hand selected to develop "Evil Dead Rise". Although the film lacks the comedic overtone of some of Rami’s earlier work such as "Army of Darkness". "Evil Dead Rise" does a great job tightrope walking the line between campy and fright...reminiscent of the well-received 2013 "Evil Dead" reimagining. In this latest entry a possessed mother terrorizes her sister and children after demonic forces reek chaos in their apartment building.

We get to take a peek into the creatively creepy corners of Cronin’s mind while he still evokes the feelings of Rami’s original work. Rounding it out by giving the lead characters more depth and giving a woman the opportunity to be her own savior. No princesses in distress here, a fact that is impactful since in the past the gory franchise has been criticized for being too misogynistic. So, all that being said "Evil Dead Rise" begins with the typical chilling cabin in the wood's scene. after a fitting fluid filled visual, we are introduced to our heroine. We open to meet our heroine Beth (played by Lily Sullivan) anxiously taking a pregnancy test in a loud, dark night club bathroom.

After appearing to not like the results, we then cut to her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and after a brief introduction to her eccentric, but loving family. The children Bridget (Gabrielle Echols), Danny (Morgan Davies) and Kassie (Nell Fisher) are endeared to the audience by showing how quirky, tight knit and creative they are.

Definitely a representation of their Rocker band technician Aunt and their tattoo artist mother.

Beth shows up on her older sister’s doorstep and although they clearly love each other, they definitely have a strained relationship. Ellie points out that while her little sister has been touring, she has been suffering the pains of going through a divorce and becoming a single mother. Although there is some estrangement and a bit of resentment from the more responsible sister towards her sibling the bond is still very much evident.

The fun soon begins when the kids are sent for Pizza and an earthquake exposes an underground tomb beneath their LA Apartment. This is where Evil Dead Rise takes a deviation from its source material and we move from the spacious unknown of the woods to a soon to be demolished, dilapidated building. With a run-time of 97 minutes, the plot unfolds relatively quickly. Danny’s curiosity leads him to explore the menacing tomb and he soon comes upon the flesh bound book called the Necronomicon and some records. As expected in a good horror flick Danny takes these items under the protest of his big sister Bridget and all hell breaks loose.

Cronin uses angles and lighting, callbacks to the original trilogy trademark POV dolly shot, creativity in his carnage and simplicity in his imagery to create an atmosphere of uneasiness, anxiety and dread. This paired with the close quarters of the Apartment building evoke the question "How could they possibly escape?" In addition to the score composed by award winning Irish composer Stephen McKeon, you have the perfect sinister scenario for a Deadite playground of debauchery. Oh yea...and let's not forget the cheese grater scene that instantly went viral on twitter. Needless to say, it was NOT used on cheese!

Alyssa Sutherland marvels as the possessed Ellie. Her movements, maniacal laugh and mocking smile in contrast of the caring and protective mother she once was, add a wonderful layer of emotional torture to the physical terror her demon possessed body unleashes on her children and sister. The bonds of mother hood are used to manipulate Bridget, Danny and Kassie. Strong performances by Echols, Davies and Fisher help elevate this nightmare entangled with motherhood.

Grisly kills, torture and tension are at the fore front in the families fight for survival against satanic forces. We get Easter Eggs, the iconic Chainsaw and over 1,700 gallons of blood. Complete with a blood-filled elevator scene that rivals the 300 gallons of blood used in The Overlook Hotel from the "Shining". However not enough to outdo the 70,000 gallons used in 2013’s Evil Dead. There were some missteps in the storytelling, explaining the estrangement for the sisters and a connection to the children for instance. Additionally the subplot of Beth being pregnant did not stick or feel as relevant as I believe they wanted it to. It never felt like she became connected to being a mother.

That being said skilled direction, a solid talented cast, a generous helping of bodily secretions, deadite children, blood-soaked fight scenes, Sutherlands limber startling movements, a 3 headed beast and lines like “Mommies with the maggot now” make this a cemented and fan approved nightmare fueled fun watch for all Evil Dead Fans, new and old alike. Produced by New Line Cinema, Renaissance Pictures, Pacific Renaissance, and Wild Atlantic Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures releases Evil Dead Rise on April 21.

Gina is a show host, influencer, and content reviewer at Head Nerds in Charge Network.

DID you enjoy Evil Dead Rise

  • Loved it

  • meh

  • I hated it!

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