New Line Cinema and Renaissance Pictures present a return to the iconic horror franchise, “Evil Dead Rise,” from writer/director Lee Cronin (“The Hole in the Ground”). The movie stars Lily Sullivan (“I Met a Girl,” “Barkskins”), Alyssa Sutherland (“The Mist,” “Vikings”), Morgan Davies (“Storm Boy,” “The End”), Gabrielle Echols (“Reminiscence”) and introducing Nell Fisher (“Northspur”).

Moving the action out of the woods and into the city, “Evil Dead Rise” tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Sutherland and Sullivan, whose reunion is 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 We Thought:

I wish Evil Dead Rise was called something else or even Evil Dead Presents: and then the name of the movie. By calling it an Evil Dead film I have certain expectations. I have been a fan of the franchise since I was a kid and expect a certain tone and style to the films of the franchise. I expect campiness with gore, comedy and action. This was not groovy whatsoever. If you are a fan, you get that reference.

Not only is there no Ash, no characters from previous films or the TV series, but it never feels like an Evil Dead product. The director uses some zooms/tracking shots like Sam Raimi, but the film looks too clean. The original films having been made independently had grit and the look of indie films. This looks like the typical digital movie of today. It also lacks all the slapstick and comedic elements of the original trilogy and Starz series as well. Other than there being a Book of the Dead in it and a certain weapon being used that we all know should be there, there is nothing about the movie that is the Evil Dead. It’s more similar to the reboot from a decade ago than it is anything associated with Raimi and Bruce Campbell, but at least the reboot felt like an Evil Dead film.

It should be seen as just the latest 21st century horror flick because that’s what it is. It’s full of jumpscares and idiotic characters doing things no real person would do. There is a ton of blood which I appreciate, but it’s closer to something out of The Conjuring universe than it is Evil Dead. Oh look, there’s someone in the background, isn’t that scary? I’ve never enjoyed jumpscare horror and never will.

If it was just the latest horror flick and not something with Evil Dead in the title, maybe I enjoy it more because I would have gone into it expecting something different. I wouldn’t have had expectations of a possible cult classic. The location isn’t a cabin in the woods, it’s a run down apartment building so there could have been potential to make a good horror flick in this location. It could have been a horror version of Dredd or The Raid which I might have liked.

If you watch Evil Dead Rise hoping for the latest installment of the franchise you will be majorly disappointed. If you go into it liking movies like Mama, Smile, and The Conjuring universe you might like it. It’s not my type of horror flick because I don’t find any of those scary. The cold open didn’t work. The characters bothered me and made decisions no one really would. I actually found myself bored with it and zoned out at times. If your basis of Evil Dead is the reboot maybe you enjoy it, but a Book of the Dead without the zany characters doesn’t make your movie The Evil Dead.

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