Evil Dead Rise Review

There’s one shining moment in Evil Dead Rise due to a bloodily gushing elevator and plenty of moments that are indistinguishable from other gory possession tales. That’s somewhat of a letdown for this franchise that is known for its demonically goofy trilogy that began the careers of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell over four decades ago. While some of its boo moments stand out, Rise falls short of its immediate predecessor which “re-imagined” the series a decade ago with Fede Alvarez directing.

The 2013 Dead iteration left a lot of the previous movies humor on the cutting room floor and Rise keeps that up. Lee Cronin takes over the directorial reigns and the mayhem moves from a cabin in the woods to an about to be condemned Los Angeles apartment complex. Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) is a newly single mom to teenagers Danny (Morgan Davies), Bridget (Gabrielle Echols), and youngest child Kassie (Nell Fisher). They’re among the last denizens of their building slated for demolition. Beth (Lily Sullivan) is Ellie’s sister who is a guitar technician (according to her) or a groupie (according to her more responsible sibling). She drops in to visit to share some news (she’s preggers), but an earthquake shakes up and delays the announcement.

This act of nature also leads to the discovery of a Book of the Dead tome locked away in a vault. As with previous volumes, the reading material causes wicked forces to possess those near it. Ellie is the first to fall prey to its devilish influence.

Besides the Shining elevator material that would not be advisable for those with hemophobia, there’s also the grisliest use of a wood chipper since Fargo. The picture’s connection to its own franchise is mostly in name only and the fact that they all feature chainsaws. Its makeup effects and choreographing of red splatter is first-rate. You could say the work of the technicians behind Evil Dead Rise is just fine. I suspect, due to its lack of originality, it’ll have less groupies than the others.

**1/2 (out of four)

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