Sam Raimi’s hilariously low-budget Evil Dead continues to maintain its full strength even after 40 years. The terrifying book of the Necronomicon continues to drive anyone who confronts it with its dark side to madness and unleash its horror. However, this time our dreadful book finds itself in the heart of the city, just like in the new Hellraiser. After hunting people in a cabin that even God has forgotten, it now confronts us with the “apartment horror” that Polanski introduced into our lives. I’ve always found apartment buildings scarier than cabins. Literally narrow, and there’s no space to escape. Evil Dead Rise takes advantage of this confinement and delivers an enjoyable film that adapts well to the present.
Let’s briefly touch upon the plot. Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), who sends her children out to buy pizza when her sister Beth (Lily Sullivan) suddenly appears, becomes a victim of her children returning with the Necronomicon instead of pizza. Yes, it’s a funny sentence. Of course, one of the children, Danny (Morgan Davies), who wants to tamper with this mysterious book they found, unleashes all the horrors of the book and causes his mother to fall victim to the escaping Deadites. The rest is pure chaos.
Evil Dead Rise captured everyone’s attention, especially with its trailer. As someone who considered Fede Alvarez’s 2013 version of Evil Dead a cinematic masterpiece, the trailer felt like a summoning ritual to me. It became impossible not to watch the film. However, after watching it, I concluded that the trailer was much better than the actual film. I’m not criticizing the movie, of course, but unfortunately, it lacked the magic of the trailer. Perhaps my high expectations influenced me, but even though I had a good time, I have to say that the new film didn’t quite reach the level set by Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead.
The biggest issue with Evil Dead Rise is that it doesn’t push the boundaries of horror as much as the 2013 version did. Although the parking lot scene managed to achieve the chaos I was looking for, it still wasn’t as impactful as Jane Levy’s chainsaw show in front of the cabin. Especially in the interior scenes of the house, I expected much more mayhem, but the action in the apartment was less intense than I anticipated. Moreover, adding comedic elements reminiscent of Evil Dead 2 to certain scenes is another negative aspect of the film.
Despite its drawbacks, the film succeeds in entertaining. Scenes like the cheese grater, Bridget with her face covered by a sheet, and the scissor scene were truly tension-inducing moments. However, the one aspect that sets the 2023 version of Evil Dead apart from the 2013 version is the performance. While Fede Alvarez’s film highlighted Jane Levy, it was generally the story and the chaos that kept viewers engaged. On the other hand, the 2023 version of Evil Dead reaches new heights thanks to two magnificent stars: Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan.
Alyssa Sutherland’s performance as a Deadite was nearly brilliant. If there’s an award for the best female actor in horror films, please give it to her. Initially, I thought Lily Sullivan was somewhat stiff until she was drenched in blood and found her true form. Her sequence in the parking lot is a performance to be admired. However, I can’t claim that the children were bad, yet Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan delivered unforgettable horror performances that will be remembered for years to come.
In conclusion… Evil Dead Rise is a film that handles the theme of apartment horror well and provides an enjoyable experience, satisfying horror enthusiasts. However, when compared to the 2013 version, it falls a bit behind, especially considering that they had 10 years to make something even better. Based on the impression I got from the trailer, I expected a much more brutal film, but what I encountered was a movie that only picked up its pace towards the end. Nevertheless, the film captivates you until the very end, particularly due to the enchantment of the performances. The parking lot sequence, in my opinion, is a madness worth witnessing, especially for horror lovers.
Cast & Crew
director: Lee Cronin
writers: Lee Cronin
starring: Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher
USA | 2023 | 96 MINUTES |