Get us in your inbox

Evil Dead Rise

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Evil Dead Rise
Photograph: Studiocanal

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The demonic franchise finds a gorily enjoyable way to rise again

After four films and a TV series, it’s hard not to question whether Evil Dead has much more to offer. Yet in this frantic period of remakes, reboots, prequels and legacy sequels, this particular demonic franchise has found a gorily enjoyable way to rise again.

A gnarly cold open nods its head to the franchise’s ‘cabin in the woods’ origins of the Sam Raimi films, but the main thrust of this similarly claustrophobic story takes place in a dilapidated apartment building in LA. It’s dark, dingy and provides the perfect nervy atmosphere for evil to lurk in.

It’s also home to tattoo artist Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and her three children Danny (Morgan Davies), Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) and Kassie (Nell Fisher). They are struggling following the abandonment of their father, but soon Ellie’s guitar technician sister Beth (Lily Sullivan) arrives after discovering an unwanted pregnancy. These introductory scenes are maybe too  full of heavy foreshadowing for what gruesome moments are to come. When Danny finds a Book of the Dead in a secret cavern underneath their building, in rather basic ‘people in horror films clearly don’t watch horror movies’ fashion, he unwittingly unleashes the demonic creature and soon their family’s dysfunctional dynamic provides manipulative fodder to terrorise them with.

The cast is solid but Sutherland is in her element as the first victim of demon possession. She shifts between the evil and mother personalities disturbingly well and every grab, eye twitch and head snap has you cringing in your seat. Her terrifying grin might be its most unpleasant aspect. Credit is due to the make-up and special effects department for delivering such horrifying images, as the flesh-filling demons spread through the apartment building. 

It’s dark, dingy and provides the perfect nervy atmosphere for evil to lurk in

Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin has certainly found some inventive and blood-curdling ways to vandalise these poor meat-sacks – you might never look at a cheese grater the same way again – but there’s still an affection for what makes Evil Dead iconic. Rushing demon POV camera angles, hilariously explicit insults, gore galore, and of course, a chainsaw. 

Evil Dead Rise is not for the faint-hearted but for long-time fans and horror nuts, just sit back and let the blood wash over you.

In cinemas worldwide Apr 21.

Hanna Flint
Written by
Hanna Flint

Cast and crew

  • Director:Lee Cronin
  • Screenwriter:Lee Cronin
  • Cast:
    • Morgan Davies
    • Alyssa Sutherland
    • Lily Sullivan
You may also like
You may also like