Movie Review: ‘Evil Dead Rise’ is the movie horror fans have been waiting for

Taylor Moore
LV Life Editor

“Evil Dead Rise” was released on April 21, 10 years after the “Evil Dead” remake, released in 2013, and the fifth installment in the movie franchise. 

If you have been on your phone for the past two months, then you have seen a teaser for “Evil Dead Rise” that captures its twisted humor perfectly. The movie was so heavily advertised on every online platform that it became inescapable. 

The “Evil Dead” movie series is known for its intense gore and comedic undertones through the outlandish line deliveries. As a horror fan, I think sequels pose a risk of becoming repetitive or overall lack the key qualities of a good horror movie – a solid plot to back it up, complete with sprinkles of foreshadowing throughout the plot, and scares the audience does not see coming. 

“Evil Dead Rise” delivered all three and more, including a title card that hits you from the jump. Set in a beat-down apartment in Los Angeles, rather than the standard cabin in the woods like the previous movies, the film focuses on a family trying to move past their mother’s divorce when their matriarch, Ellie, played by Alyssa Sutherland, gets possessed by a chaotic and sadistic demon. 

We know the drill of possession in these movies – someone finds the Book of the Dead, a book crafted out of human flesh and written in blood, reads from it because they cannot overcome their curiosity, and releases a demon amongst their group. This movie modernizes the possession by adding audio readings from the Book of the Dead, which, in my opinion, was much creepier than a character simply reading from the book. 

The previous “Evil Dead” films were centered around a group of friends, with the exception of one or two characters being related to each other. This is the first movie of the franchise that is centered around a family. Going into it, I worried that this movie was going to lack in gruesome deaths and Deadites, the name used for the possessed in this franchise, because there is no way we are going to watch children get slaughtered, right? 

You could not be more wrong. “Evil Dead Rise” made sure to let the audience know that no one, including the kids, was off limits. The movie delivered intense gore for horror fans in the most unique ways possible, such as cheese grater being used excruciatingly on someone’s leg, a champagne glass being turned into a midnight snack, and a wood chipper ending the final boss battle, all of which left the audience cringing in their seats, covering their eyes in horror, or cheering. 

The real star was Sutherland, who was committed in every way possible to delivering a creepy performance as the possessed mother. Sutherland has made it public that she enjoyed taking on a darker role in her behind the scenes footage from her TikTok, and she delivered such an iconic performance that I’m sure everyone is going to be saying, “Open up now,” whenever they look through the peephole in a door. 

As a horror fan, I have to appreciate the references to other movies from the genre in “Evil Dead Rise.” Two characters are trying to escape when an elevator fills up with blood before spilling out into the lobby. Such bloodiness was last seen in Stephen King’s “The Shining” (1980). A character walking, or floating, around with a bed sheet draped over them is also a reference to “Halloween” (1978) and “The Conjuring” (2013). There are plenty of easter eggs for diehard “Evil Dead” fans, such as the infamous chainsaw dawned by Ash, the protagonist of the first three installments, as well as Ash’s famous line, “Come get some” and the Deadites’ chanting of “Dead by dawn,” last seen in “Evil Dead II” (1987). 

It has been a long time since I have walked out of a theater amongst a scared audience. As twisted as it sounds, I was excited to see a girl crying amongst a group of friends about how scary the movie was. If a horror movie leaves at least one person crying, then you know it did its job. 

“Evil Dead Rise” promised to give us horror fans a mesmerizing gorefest, and that is exactly what we got.  

Taylor Moore can be reached at taylor.moore@laverne.edu.

Taylor Moore is a senior broadcast journalism major and Campus Times editor-in-chief for Spring 2024. In her sixth semester on Campus Times, she has served as the LV Life editor and social media editor twice, as well as a staff writer. She’s also worked on the University’s television news broadcast Foothill Community News as an anchor and reporter, and was a on-air personality for the University’s radio station 107.9 LeoFM.

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