Horror News Network Review: ‘Evil Dead Rise’

by Rob Caprilozzi

The latest addition to a classic horror, this time the Evil Dead franchise, arrived in theaters this weekend to delight of moviegoers. Director Lee Cronin moves the franchise to some new digs, this time to an apartment building in California.

The cast, led by Lily Sullivan, does a decent job fitting into their respective roles and Alyssa Sutherland as the deadite-possessed mother was fine. Before we get into what I thought they got right and wrong, I want to say that this movie was just okay; but it just didn’t feel like an Evil Dead movie – it felt like it was another run of the mill Hollywood horror film that a teen might bring his date to in hopes of draping his arm around him or her.

Before we go any further, yes, I am a huge fan of 80s horror and making 80s horror fans happy is admittedly not an easy task. That said, I thought that the 2013 re-imagining of Evil Dead got it right in every aspect, I left the theater with no doubt that what I just watched was an Evil Dead film and I loved every single minute of it…so you can please us grumpy old people.

Ok, back to Evil Dead Rise: I felt like I knew everything that was going to happen in this movie from the trailer and the first few minutes of the film, where they kept showing the vehicles in the garage. I also really felt no connection to the family and it seemed the theater I was in didn’t either by their lack of reactions. While there were loads of blood, and a few decent scares, the film relied too often on old tropes like a flickering lights and vomiting, or leaking, fluids.

What I did like was how the Necronomicon was found and the history behind it. I thought that adding the vinyl records into the mix was interesting as well.

After the conclusion of the film, I saw a group of people talking (and I could tell they lived through the golden years of 80s horror) and could even hear them saying that it didn’t feel like an Evil Dead film. To each their own, but as an Evil Dead film this felt like a misstep to me.

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