Evil Dead Rise (2023), directed and written by Lee Cronin, is a gripping supernatural horror film. Serving as the fifth installment of the Evil Dead film series, it showcases the talents of Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland. These characters were supported by Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, and the film debut of Nell Fisher.
Warner Bros. Pictures released Evil Dead Rise on April 19, offering a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. This highly anticipated film guarantees an immersive and spine-chilling cinematic experience that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Moving the action out of the woods and into the city, “Evil Dead Rise” tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Sutherland and Sullivan, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable – Evil Dead Rise.
EVIL DEAD RISE.
Going into this film, I was completely in the dark. No prior knowledge, no trailer, no reviews—nothing. Purely driven by curiosity, I embarked on this cinematic journey. And now, having experienced it, I feel compelled to share my thoughts.
The film starts off brilliantly as the camera on a drone, flies over water introducing a good view of the environment before introducing some characters – Jessica (Anna-Maree Thomas), her boyfriend Caleb (Richard Crouchley), and her Cousin Teressa (Mirabai Pease) who were on vacation in a cabin by the lakeside.
Caleb’s jerkish behavior drives Teressa indoors to tend to her sick cousin. Lost in her novel, Teressa notices a disturbing change in Jessica’s position, then her appearance, as she develops a ghostly look and starts vomiting. Startled, Teressa tries to help but is shocked when Jessica violently pulls her hair off her head. Terrified, Teressa flees toward the lake, pursued by Jessica. In a twisted turn, Jessica cuts her own face with a drone blade before plunging into the water. Teressa’s boyfriend bravely tries to save Jessica but meets a violent end as she rips his head out of his head.
Beth, who is a ‘guitar technician’ as she calls herself, discovers that she is pregnant, so she heads to see her sister Ellie who is a single mom raising three kids – Danny and Bridget, and Kassie. What amuses me here is that Beth unaware of the separation of her sister and the husband buys a gift him. She shows the gift to the mother and her children saying “Check out what I got your dad”. To her surprise, no one was excited so she questions her sister who tells her what had happened.
Ellie ask the kids to go get pizza so her and her sister can discuss. On their way back from buying Pizza, the children who have reached the garage and parked the car, experience an earthquake and are forced to hide. When the earthquake stops, Danny discovers a hole in the ground and goes into the hole to see what is hidden there. He discovers some phonographic records and books which he takes up to his room
Intrigued by the book’s potential value, he excitedly shares it with his sister who advices him to do away with the book and the record. As Danny plays the phonographic records, a spooky occurrence unfolds. The book, discovered in a hidden basement, starts flipping its pages on its own. A demonic voice emanates from the speakers, speaking an unfamiliar language. Unexpectedly, Ellie is propelled into an elevator by a mysterious gust of wind, leading to her possession. Now possessed, Ellie becomes a relentless hunter, driven by a sinister desire to destroy her own family.
Wow, I did not plan for this terrifying yet wholesome experience but here I am, so happy I watched this film. Very few characters were used in this film but each had their role and signified and they portrayed their characters very well. Even the little girl Kassie did a good job in her role.
My favorite character is Ellie who is played by Alyssa Sutherland. Ellie is my favorite character because her character had two personalities – A mother of three children and a monster who seeks to devour her family, and she was able to execute all of them well. She was solid in her role, and her display of emotions was top notch too. Beth is not exempted from this. Beth has done some bad but she still has some good in her. This can be seen as she cares for the children after the possession of their mother.
The cinematography in this film was remarkable, striking a perfect balance between classic horror and modern horror. From the clever use of various camera movements and angles to the inclusion of drone shots, handheld camera sequences, and well-placed stationary shots, every visual choice felt fitting. These thoughtful cinematographic elements played a significant role in elevating the overall success of the film.
The effects of this film are mind-blowing. From the stunning visual effects to the immersive sound design and even the impactful social commentary, it’s a true spectacle. I can’t help but applaud the incredible work of the makeup artist, who brought the characters to life in such a remarkable way. The attention to detail in the blood, costumes, and even the puke scenes is truly impressive. This film has left a lasting impression on me, as so many aspects managed to exceed my expectations.
Evil Dead Rise delivers such a visceral experience that I found myself fully immersed in its horrifying realism. In a particularly shocking scene, when Ellie viciously bites off someone’s eye and spits it into another character’s throat, I could almost feel the grotesque sensation of the eye traveling down my own throat. That’s just how incredibly authentic and impactful this film is. It’s a testament to the masterful execution that left me genuinely shaken.
You can watch this film without any prior knowledge of Evil Dead and still get what the film is about because Evil Dead (Evil Dead 1) and Evil Dead Rise (Evil Dead Rise 2) are connected but not the same. If you’re planning to watch this film from the comfort of your home instead of the cinema, I strongly advise against eating before or immediately after. Some incredibly gory scenes might make you feel queasy. In fact, it’s the best horror film I’ve seen in the first quarter of this year.
I highly doubt every viewer who started this movie will be able to endure it until the end. As the story progresses, it becomes even more captivating and disturbing. The level of gore is off the charts. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster of twists and turns because this film is anything but predictable. I was genuinely taken aback by what unfolded on the screen.
Evil Dead Rise is Rated R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, and some language, and can be available in select Cinemas, Netflix, and HBO Max.
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