What’s it about?
A reunion between two estranged sisters gets cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.
What’d we think?
As a massive fan of the original Evil Dead trilogy, I was completely ambivalent and anticipating the worst for Fede Álvarez’s Evil Dead requel in 2013, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it managed to maintain the video nasty tone of the original Sam Raimi film while still being it’s own movie (also, the last 20 minutes absolutely rips). While enjoyable, Evil Dead (2013) frequently retread similar scenes from the original film where Evil Dead Rise proves that a soft reboot does not need to be a repeat of the same story.
In Rise we follow Ellie, a mother, looking after her three children after her husband left. Her estranged sister, Beth, stays with them while grappling with the possibility of having a child herself. Instead of the film taking place in a cabin in the woods, we follow the family in an apartment for the entirety of the film.
The movie effectively establishes the tension in their relationship and what they each have at stake, before things go haywire after an untimely earthquake unearths the Book of the Dead. Ellie is possessed by a demon, forcing Beth and the children to try to survive the night. It’s wonderful.
The movie does a great job of bouncing between slow-building tension to an 80s-style splatterfest. While not as gory as the 2013 film, gore-hounds will be pleased to hear that it definitely holds its own. Horror movies like this are meant to be fun, and director Lee Cronin clearly understands this, so if you’re a fan of horror movies or you want a good time with a packed audience, check this one out.