evil dead rise 2023

[#PanicFest2023 Review] The Elevator Doesn’t Quite Go All the Way to the Top in EVIL DEAD RISE

Hollywood’s ‘freshest’ requel, Evil Dead Rise, is hitting the big screen, and it’s quite the ride. Moving away from the classic cabin-in-the-woods setting, this film places our protagonists in the heart of the city. A dilapidated apartment complex, to be exact. Two estranged sisters reunite only to be faced with an unexpected and terrifying challenge. Demons, flesh-possessing and otherwise, rise up and threaten their lives, thrusting them into an intense battle for survival.

Alyssa Sutherland’s performance as mother Ellie and lead Deadite is the biggest highlight of the film. She brings a level of intensity and unhinged energy to the role that easily validates her casting and lengthy runtime as Top Demon in charge. Her portrayal is gross in all the right ways, and she easily steals the spotlight whenever she’s on screen.

 



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Warner Bros.

 

As expected from an Evil Dead film, the gore and violence are plentiful. The film doesn’t hold back when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what is ‘acceptable’ on screen. Surprises and scares are around every corner, making for an engaging and thrilling experience, perfect for the big screen. While the movie delivers on these fronts, it doesn’t quite feel like it pushes the boundaries enough to stand out as a standalone film, especially with a Bruce Campbell lead series so fresh in our memories.

The urban setting is a nice change of pace for the series, but unfortunately, it doesn’t feel fully explored. Despite this entry being well away from the cabin’s toolshed, they still end up using the expected rural weapons for ‘demon dispatch’- particularly in the final climax, which uses a confoundingly placed apparatus. And too, the claustrophobic location isn’t capitalized on for anything creative or surprising, apart from a pretty groovy elevator possession sequence. While the setting sets it apart from previous entries in the series, it feels like a missed opportunity to shine.

 

evil dead rise 2023
Warner Bros.

 

The characters in Evil Dead Rise come off as a little one-note. The sisters are given some development, but it’s not quite enough to make them compelling. The supporting roles are even less fleshed out, existing mainly to be demon fodder. That being said, everyone who gets a turn at being a villain gets a few good moments in the spotlight.

 

“If you’re a fan of the series or just looking for a gory, violent horror flick, it’s definitely worth a trip to catch in the theatre.”

 

Overall, Evil Dead Rise doesn’t feel tonally different enough to top the 2013 remake from Fede Alvarez, nor is it memorable enough to hold its own against Sam Raimi’s original series of films. While an enjoyable ride, it’s not a standout film in the franchise. If you’re a fan of the series or just looking for a gory, violent horror flick, it’s definitely worth a trip to catch in the theatre. However, if you’re hoping for something groundbreaking, you may be disappointed.

 

Evil Dead Rise celebrated its Midwest Premiere at Panic Fest 2023. Click HERE to follow our continued coverage of the fest and let us know if you’re excited for some citybound deadites over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

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evil dead rise 2023
[#PanicFest2023 Review] The Elevator Doesn’t Quite Go All the Way to the Top in EVIL DEAD RISE
TL;DR
Overall, Evil Dead Rise doesn't feel tonally different enough to top the 2013 remake from Fede Alvarez, nor is it memorable enough to hold its own against Sam Raimi's original series of films. While an enjoyable ride, it's not a standout film in the franchise. If you're a fan of the series or just looking for a gory, violent horror flick, it's definitely worth a trip to see it in the theatre. However, if you're hoping for something groundbreaking, you may be disappointed.
Originality
65
Watchability
80
Deadites
82
Use of Setting
60
72
SCORE
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