Review: Evil Dead Rise – not groovy, just gruesome

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Rating: 2.5 out of 10.
Evil Dead Rise

Rating: 2.5 out of 10.

The new Evil Dead Rise film takes the franchise from the isolated cabin in the woods to an isolated big city high-rise (and then back again), all the while stripping it of the tongue-in-cheek, dark humor that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell brought to the original films. You know, the stuff that made those movies so much fun to watch.

Devoid of any comedic relief, what’s left is nothing but a stereotypical, run-of-the-mill horror film framework with extra helpings of gratuitous gore and violence, much of it uncomfortably focused on underage children – especially a ten-year old girl (Nell Fisher). This is not groovy at all. Why would anyone want to see this?

Written and directed by Lee Cronin, the infamous Book of the Dead has somehow ended up in a hidden bank vault of a mostly-abandoned old building where Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and her kids are stuck living, you know, because she is divorced and all.

Ellie’s sister, Beth (Lily Sullivan) comes to visit just as a massive earthquake uncovers the evil book’s hiding place and is discovered by Ellie’s son, Danny (Morgan Davies). He also finds some long lost LP recordings by the priest who deposited the items there.

Danny plays the records out loud and before you can say, “Klaatu barada nikto”, all hell is unleashed on the unfortunate family, with Mom becoming the main host to the evil entity. Depraved carnage and gore ensues, but little of it is scary and none of it is entertaining to see.

The biggest scare was when I woke myself up snoring. This is basically the same old horror film we’ve seen dozens of times at this point, just without anything that makes it worth watching. Talk about beating a dead horse.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.