Evil Dead Rise

Verdict: Evil Dead Rise manages to be scary and gory as well as totally entertaining and that's a rare achievement.

  • Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan
  • April 21st 2023
  • Lee Cronin

Lily Sullivan’s Beth is the new Ash Williams in Lee Cronin’s twisted take on Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise.

Hold onto your socks! The scariest and goriest horror movie of the year so far has arrived.

In Lee Cronin’s take on Sam Raimi’s franchise, the horror takes place in a high-rise apartment in Los Angeles instead of the usual cabin in the woods.

Beth (Lily Sullivan) unexpectedly shows up to reunite with her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and her children Danny (Morgan Davies), Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) and Kassie (Nell Fisher) after a long time away.

After an earthquake, a hole emerges in the parking garage and it wouldn’t be a horror if somebody didn’t foolishly decide to explore down there.

That fool, Danny, uncovers the Book of the Dead and a couple of vinyl records featuring the incantations being read aloud.

If you’ve seen the franchise, you’ll know what comes next: the evil spirit is awakened and possesses its nearest human host – and on this occasion, it’s Ellie.

Consider yourself warned: This film is scary, blood-soaked, insanely gory and relentless. Cronin honoured what came before and the classic Evil Dead hallmarks, despite the new setting and characters, but also offered up something fresh, exciting and modern.

The later Evil Dead films leaned more towards comedy and Cronin didn’t forget that either.

This is a straight-up horror, which gets increasingly wilder as it goes along, but there are a few funny moments in there too.

It takes itself more seriously than the original trilogy but still remembers to offer up some much-needed comic relief.

You don’t need to have seen the previous films to understand this but you will enjoy it so much more if you have.

Cronin has filled the film with Easter eggs and references to those films (as well as other classic horrors) and it’s exciting trying to spot these. See if you can pinpoint Bruce Campbell’s cameo!

Sullivan is basically the equivalent of Campbell’s Evil Dead hero Ash Williams. You won’t see her saying a cheesy line like “Groovy” but she still gets put through the wringer fighting the “deadites” while trying to protect the children.

She is an excellent new protagonist and gives her character depth amid the chaos.

Evil Dead Rise manages to be scary and gory as well as totally entertaining and that’s a rare achievement. Ensure you see this with a crowd because the communal cinema experience makes it so much more fun.

In cinemas from Friday 21st April.

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