Evil Dead Rise – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Evil Dead Rise – A Mother’s Kiss of Blood and Tragedy

In film, there are certain things we expect.  From the adrenaline of action to the heartfelt moments of a romance, specific genres will always have a staple effect.  For horror there is an expectation to always scare.  If the journey can provide the fright, it has done an admirable job … but if you can move fright to new heights, it creates a whole different experience.  In this review, I look at a reboot of a horror classic.  By mixing in different elements (of the lore), this film builds expectation with its own design.  Even in its simplistic approach, Evil Dead Rise is a tensed filled journey that reinvents a horror classic.

This is a twisting tale of two sisters’ wholesome reunion that turns tragic.  When an unknown threat hits the family, will they be able to survive or succumb to the horror.  On the surface, the outline builds off the basics of the genre.  Through generalization, the prologue highlights the aspect of demonic possession, intense gore, and the feeling of no escape.  Once we move past the prologue, we are introduced to Jessica (Anna-Maree Thomas), a single mother with three kids living in southern California.  After a series of familial scenes, they have an unexpected visitor when her sister, Beth (Lily Sullivan) shows up at their apartment.  After more familial scenes, the reunion is short lived when an earthquake (plot device) happens, which leads to Jessica’s son finding a mysterious book (plot device) in the building’s basement.  After some expositional moments through plot driven scenes, an unknown entity is released and begins to wreak havoc on the family through demonic possession.  From this point, the journey boils down to a series of intense clashes with the possessed mother where no one knows if they will survive the hellish night.  On the surface, the simplistic approach may seem like a lackluster way to grip the audience.  In this case, the reverse happens because from the generalized epilogue, it lays the foundation for a familial journey that turns tragic because of the unknown.  What you have are filmmakers that take the known material and create a ‘sandbox’ that builds off raw moments, intense atmosphere and characterized tragedy.  As you watch each scene unfold with the mother, it levels in a two-fold approach of sadness and tension.  This layering of moments builds the fragile experience, creating a connection to each gruesome encounter that makes it feel as if it is happening to us.  As the family tries to find a way to survive, the demonic entities continue to create different levels of fear, paralleling certain passages (from the book).  This leans into some foreshadowing elements, lifting a journey into an authentic and unnerving horrific experience. 

As the night continues to spiral downward, the path continues to build through its intense torture and destruction of the family.  As the body count continues to mount, that tension continues to dismount expected detail as the journey leads into the relative unknown where no one is safe.  As new information comes to light (about the book), we head into a third act of elevated conflict.  With one final confrontation to come, elements of the lore rise to the forefront to create an ambiguous climax and a full circle but sadden epilogue.  Evil Dead Rise is a reboot that captures the essence (of its source) and pushes it to new heights.  If you are a fan of horror of the Evil Dead franchise, this is one of you.  It is truly an intense experience, one needed to be seen on the big screen.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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