Evil Dead Rise (2023) Review
Remake. Sequel. Spin-off. Call it whatever you’d like. I call it a bloody good time and a solid addition to this cult favourite horror franchise. Evil Dead Rise weaves the best elements from past entries into a modern horror story bound to please longtime fans and series newcomers.
It doesn’t quite reach the relentless brutality of the 2013 remake, nor does it have the over-the-top style of Raimi’s original trilogy, but what it does have is far better character development. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say these are deeply written characters, the film spends ample time allowing the audience to get to know them. We’re given enough to get attached, and actually care what happens to them once the carnage begins. The cast all deliver impressive performances, especially Alyssa Sutherland as this entry’s deadite.
Not only is Rise filled with callbacks to past Evil Dead movies, but there are also plenty of homages to other iconic horror films. It’s clear that it was crafted with a care and respect for not only the series, but the genre in general. With those great references come some overused horror tropes, though. For example, deadites will become conveniently and inexplicably incapacitated after being injured, only to wake up moments after the characters have moved to safety. Things like this detract from the intensity and momentum, but thankfully the movie makes up for it with some of the gnarliest gore the series has ever seen.
The move from a cabin in the woods to an apartment in the city makes for a refreshing and welcome change of scenery. This run down, art-deco era building makes the perfect haunted house for all the blood to be spilled. The cinematography and camera work, while not as delightfully unhinged as in Raimi’s films, is quite creative, and we get some really fun shots throughout. Equally creative is the gore, which will have even the most desensitized viewers squirming in their seats.
Evil Dead Rise delivers all the blood, guts and nastiness you’d expect from this franchise, but also takes the necessary time to develop its characters. Despite a few common horror clichés, this movie is all kinds of groovy.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett