REVIEW: ‘Evil Dead Rise’ brings old-school horror to new audiences


Courtesy Warner Bros

Staff writer CJ Bourbeau writes that “Evil Dead Rise” is a must-see for any horror movie fan.

CJ Bourbeau, Staff Writer

“Evil Dead Rise” is one of the most intense horror movies of the modern generation, bringing back the horror of the 1981 classic and multiplying it tenfold in a horrific masterpiece.

Evil Dead has been a prominent horror staple since its inception in 1981. The original was directed by Sam Raimi (who later directed films such as the “Spider-Man” Maguire trilogy and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”) for a college project with his friend Bruce Campbell. They scraped up half a million dollars from their friends and family to make the first “Evil Dead” film, which became a cultural phenomenon with two sequels coming after with bigger budgets and more splats. 

Forty-two years later, Raimi and Campbell share the producer’s chair with Lee Cronin (who previously directed “The Hole In The Ground” and the short film “Ghost Train”) with the revival of “Evil Dead Rise.” Although the original “Evil Dead” trilogy lacked a focused plot line between films with the endings of the movies not really correlating with the beginning of the sequels but they’re still great horror experiences, even with all the confusion. 

The plot of the original film revolves around Ashley, known to his friends as Ash, taking his friend, girlfriend and sister to a cabin in the woods for a vacation where they stumble upon the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (The Book of the Dead), a strange-looking book that’s bound in human flesh and inked with blood. Along with the book were some audio tapes that a doctor had recorded when reading the passages of the book, when the passages are read creatures referred to as Deadities arise and try to kill the group. The series then goes to focus on Ash’s sanity and later portrays him as an action hero in the third film “Army of Darkness,” with the 2016 series “Ash vs Evil Dead” having him come back to finish off evil. 

The new film “Evil Dead Rise” doesn’t need any context for the plot, with it going for the more horror aspects of the original film, and it pulls it off perfectly. Instead of a group of teenagers in a cabin in the woods, this film is set in an old, run-down apartment building with a family of four trying their best to stay afloat. One of the children finds the Book of the Dead and the evil arrives once again, with the children having to face their mother who has been possessed.

The constant horror after the finding of the book is absolutely top notch. The setting of the dark, brooding hotel really leaves you on edge with the creepy Deadites, and the special effects for the gore look absolutely fantastic: the horrific scenes will make you feel like your hair is turning gray! The sound design also leaves you heavily on edge, and while there aren’t any jumpscares, it’s that sense of dread that oozes out of the walls out of the halls of the apartment, with the Deadites bringing great performances that really get you on your toes.

“Evil Dead Rise” is rated R and currently in theaters. It’s a movie you should not miss if you’re a horror fan, whether you’re a fan of the original series or not. With a runtime of an hour and 30 minutes, the scares will go by like a rollercoaster.