I think it does. Sure. Look, the Evil Dead franchise has been going strong for more than four decades now. Ever since the first Evil Dead movie, back in 1981. But the truth is, of all of the franchises that we’ve covered here at IndieGala’s blog…. Evil Dead is new and fresh for us. Can you believe it?
I mean sure… Predator was a great franchise to write about. Hey, you can check out our latest review of Prey too. The final film installment from the Predator franchise. We loved it for sure, but you know what else we loved? Evil Dead Rise. We’ll dive into the movie in just a second… But first…
A word or two about the game is in order.
What’s Evil Dead: The Game All About?
Developed and published by Saber Interactive, Evil Dead: The Game is a perfect video game for the fan of the Evil Dead franchise. Yes. The ultimate Evil Dead multiplayer experience is here… and it’s groovy!
So, go ahead. Step into the shoes of Ash Williams or his friends from the iconic Evil Dead franchise. And work together in a game loaded with over-the-top co-op and PVP multiplayer action! Play as a team of four survivors, exploring, looting, and managing your fear. And of course, finding key items to seal the breach between worlds in a game inspired by all three original Evil Dead films. As well as the STARZ original Ash vs Evil Dead television series.
Iconic Characters galore! Play as characters from throughout the Evil Dead universe. Including Ash, Scotty, Lord Arthur, Kelly Maxwell, & more. With new dialogue performed by Bruce Campbell & others!
And What About Evil Dead Rise? What’s It All About You Might Ask?
Well, it starts and ends with a cabin in the Woods horror carnage (a great homage to the franchise). But in the middle, there’s a more urban setting here in this movie which I feel is a nice detour from the same old trope. Here in Evil Dead Rise, we see the reluctant reunion of two estranged sisters in a condemned building in LA. Beth (Lily Sullivan) after finding herself in a pickle, arrives at her sister’s place. On the other hand, her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) is not doing so well too.
She’s a single mom to three kids now and is about to lose her home. But the reunion is short-lived as an earthquake hits LA, and her kids find the Book of the Dead way down in the basement of the old building complex. One of the kids awakens the Deadites and one of them possesses Ellie. What follows next is gore, blood is Beth’s fight to not just survive. But also, to protect her nephews and nieces from the Deadite that is now in Ellie. Will she succeed? Feel free to watch the movie, because… Yes. It honors the Evil Dead legacy nicely.
Great Setting And Great Casting
First and foremost, I applaud the decision to have the majority of the setting in a crumbling apartment setting. Seriously. Abandoning the woods is a fresh and interesting approach for the director Lee Cronin. The characters are still in small, dark and confined spaces but this time it’s on their familiar ground. We get to see the terror in their own home. Speaking of terror, I also applaud the decision to make the mother a Deadite villain and see how she attacks pretty much everyone that she lays eyes on. Including her sister and children. Which makes the horror even that much more terrifying.
And finally, I must give kudos to Cronin for a solid introduction of all of the characters. Even the three in the opening scene in the lake. We get to know them and their current situation without too much fuss or heavy use of exposition. And speaking of great casting…. Kudos for casting Alyssa Sutherland in the role of Ellie. What she does with her face (especially her eyes) is astonishing. Seriously, she’s amazing in this role and the mix of practical effects/CGI just adds to the terror.
Lilly Sullivan is also good in the role of Beth, and I must say… The three child actors are great too (although they’re pretty unknown to the general public).
Gore, Blood, And Homage To The Original
When I say lots of gore, blood and dismemberment I mean it. There’s a lot of that here. Just a heads up. Even I had a hard time watching the movie at times. Cronin doesn’t shy away from heavy use of fake blood and you can clearly see the progression as the movie goes on. Quite frankly, the 97 minutes of runtime seem perfectly fine, as the movie tries not to overstay its welcome. Considering that there’s also plenty of gore in it, and children being attacked, 97 minutes seems like a sweet spot for Cronin.
And how about his homage to the original Evil Dead movie? Well, you can clearly notice the bits and pieces that are just copied and pasted from the franchise. Like the smooth camera movement at the start of the movie. The fantastic steady cam shot sequence. Or the shaky cam in certain scenes. Not the mention the POV shots in others. You’ll probably catch Bruce Campbell somewhere in there too. And near the end of the movie, his famous line too: COME GET SOME! Which I considered to be a nice touch. A nice homage not just to get great character that is Ash, but also to the entire franchise itself. Not just because of the flying/swallowing eyeballs.
Bloody Final Act
The final act is mostly set in the garage part of the building complex and you can find the most blood there. Not that there’s a lack of blood in the other scenes before, but here the blood is poured down in buckets. Good lord, there’s so much blood here. And I can’t remember if there’s any jump scare in the entire movie, let alone at the end of it. Which deserves another round of applause. Not relying on jump scares is a dying art in horror movies, and I’m glad Cronin is doing it old-school. You’ll see a bloody box grader earlier on, but here in the final act, you’ll see the famous chainsaw.
Yes, the woodchipper is there as well, but the chainsaw brings back so many gory memories. If you’re a fan of the Evil Dead franchise you’ll come to appreciate them all.
Evil Dead Rise Review: A Good Spin Of The Old Tale?
I think so yeah. New setting, new engaging characters. Not to mention new villains and a new final girl too. A movie that honors the legacy that was set up by Sam Raimi and tries to improve it with new ideas. We got a movie that’s scary, bloody and terrifying without being disrespectful to the basic concept. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it right?