Film Review – Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Title – Evil Dead Rise (2023) 

Director – Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) 

Cast – Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols

Plot – Estranged sisters Beth (Sullivan) and Ellie (Sutherland) find their reunion cut short when a demonic book is opened up and a battle to survive begins.  

“I don’t think it’s the cat”

Review by Eddie on 19/05/2023

One thing you can say with full assurance when speaking about Lee Cronin’s latest addition to the Evil Dead cannon is that his version of Sam Raimi’s and Bruce Campbell’s beloved property holds nothing back when it comes to offering up a bloody and relentlessly visceral ride, one that few recent horror films would match when it comes to blood spatter and spills. 

How long term fans or more new Evil Dead fans will react to Evil Dead Rise will be varying based off what they expected from this bleak and red soaked venture, one that has many throwbacks and similarities to entries of old but also many newer ideas and components that set it apart from prior additions to the cannon, with this high rise apartment set horror its own type of beast in many ways and forgoing any comedic undertones that may have popped up previously. 

Getting stuck into its proceedings without a lot of fuss and quickly moving on from a prelude that will make you think twice about taking your drone up for a fly next time you feel the need to, Rise steers well clear of many of the darkly comic moments from past Evil Dead films to keep things grim, deadly and glum as Alyssa Sutherland’s Ellie and her family that includes Lily Sullivan’s newly pregnant sister Beth find themselves in a world of hurt when a demonic book is opened up and their casual night in after an earthquake becomes an eventful night indeed. 

Operating with a lot of verve and energy early on, relatively new director Cronin does find his film running out of steam despite clocking in at around the 90 minute mark and there’s only so much blood and carnage you can throw at audiences before it becomes wearisome with Cronin’s keenness to provide visual shocks and nasties often working to gloss over a relatively weak story that doesn’t have the winning characters or twists or turns to make this well shot and designed horror one that can stand with the classics of its brand or fellow horror players. 

Initially scheduled to premiere exclusively via streaming platforms Rise has become one of the years more surprising box office success stories and one gets a sense that Cronin has multiple ideas to move this new era of Evil Dead forward but despite being better than many would have expected, more needs to be done in the future to ensure the durability of this series outside of terrorising its audience with intense violence and carnage. 

Final Say – 

Holding nothing back when it comes to allowing the blood to flow and the chaos to take centre stage, Evil Dead Rise offers a lot of visceral thrills and notable demises but its wafer thin story, lack of scares and forgettable characters leave a lot to be desired. 

2 1/2 broken elevators out of 5 

4 responses to “Film Review – Evil Dead Rise (2023)

  1. I enjoyed the original 3, but the later installments aren’t really pulling me in. I did enjoy Drag Me to Hell, so for me it’s about Raimi’s director touch above else.

    • I did enjoy the 2013 remake for what it was and this one had moments but the original 3 piece is going to be hard to ever get close to.

  2. Evil Dead was the first midnight movie I attended as a teenager, and has always stuck with me. But the latter ones, we’ve seen so many times movies just use the name but don’t better the franchise. Sounds like this one falls into that. Disappointing.

    • A lot of people have really got around this one, in some ways I can see why but I didn’t find it did anything that fresh or exciting to keep an momentum up. It is one of the more visceral horrors I can recall of recent times but storywise fell short.

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