Evil Dead Rise, Bloody and Gory and Awesome!!
Written by: The Bat
So, I have a confession to make. As a horror movie obsessionist, you would think that I had seen the Evil Dead movies. After all, they have been around for decades, and are classic! However, when I saw the previews for the new film, I had to admit to my Dragon that I had never seen more than a couple of scenes. So we binged the first trilogy and watched the remake, and even watched a couple of seasons of the tv show, all so that I could properly prepare for the new one.
The first three were hilarious! The deadites were so bad that it was a riot! The remake was a bloody mess, in the best way. The TV show was ok, a bit dumb and it seemed like they were losing the plot by the second season, but still, Bruce Campbell was pretty funny.
Speaking of Bruce Campbell, while he said in interviews that he was too old to be in any of the Evil Dead movies anymore, he did mention that his voice was not too old. So while he did help create Evil Dead Rise, he did not appear. But do listen for him. I won’t say where, just see if you can find him.
Now onto the movie. In the beginning, it looks entirely different. There is no cabin in the country, instead, they are in a broken-down apartment building. And of course, there is an entirely new set of characters, this time a single mom, three kids, and a black-sheep type aunt. They all have their own stuff to deal with, but not so far in, the kids stumble upon a hole in the ground and unbury a very familiar book. Now the fan sites say that this is supposed to be a different one of the three books that Ash found in the third film, but it is not entirely clear in the movie. Just that the cover looks different, but the theme is the same. This is a Necronomicon. And the book comes with not a tape recorder, but a record. And the son ignores the wishes of his sister and plays the record, which has some very familiar words….
And of course, you all can guess what happens next. While the story and the setting are entirely different, the bloodbath even tops the remake. Deadites arrive, but not the fake-looking deadites of the first film. These are darker and even more messed up.
In the interest of no spoilers, I won’t give away much more. I’ll just go into *drumroll here* the review.
One of the best parts of this movie was the imagery. The blood and gore were bright and dark simultaneously, with wounds that even made me wince. There was one part with a cheese grater that I couldn’t even watch, (The Dragon described it later, and *Shudders*). Also between the graphic imagery and the sound effects, like the bones crunching and the flesh squishing, I almost felt the pain along with the victims. It definitely left me rubbing the corresponding body part and going “ouch” a couple of times.
The new characters were also a plus. The writers put in a family this time, instead of just friends or even strangers (Ash and Ruby barely knew each other in Evil Dead II). And they established the closeness of the family very well. This was not a bunch of bratty kids and a mom they barely talk to. This is a close-knit family, one that loves and cares for each other. Even the aunt that isn’t around much, you can tell that she loves and cares about her sister and the kids. And because of these connections, it is even more heart-wrenching when people start turning, and family is forced to fight family.
This film is obviously not a remake, but it definitely owes fan service to the original die-hard fans (like The Dragon, and more recently, myself). These fans have seen all the originals. Some of them may have watched the show or gone to the musical. And the film definitely gives them something to geekgasm over. Even though they are in an apartment building, one scene definitely is an homage to the killer plants. And remember laughing when the fake-looking old lady’s head pops out of the cellar saying “Dead by Dawn, Dead By Dawn.” Well, there is a “Dead by Dawn” scene in this one too, but it doesn’t make you want to laugh. It gave me the shivers!
I only found a couple of parts of the film that I wasn’t in love with. First of all, some of the things that seemed to be possessed and fighting didn’t make much sense. I can somewhat see it if you equate the building to the forest, or go along with the idea that a building can be possessed, but those connections are tenuous at best. And to people who haven’t seen the forest attacking, it just looks like the building all of a sudden starts coming to life, without reason or setup for it.
And this last one is just me being picky, but I wanted the Necronomicon to have a face! The texture in the new book definitely brought the “made of human skin” quality to mind. It definitely had enough detail to stand out and be recognized in future films. And yes this may be a different book. But I wanted it to have a face again! I wanted to see how the new technology could remake the face.
All in all, this was a great continuation to the story of the Necronomicon and its spirits. It left viewers attached to the new characters, leaving the old ones behind. They started with fresh meat to torture and kill, and it worked. The motto of the remake, the more blood the better, was definitely continued here. Characters were coated in it. And it was a bit more serious and darker than the originals seem to me now, although they may have been seen as serious and dark in the 70s. So I’ll sum up with this opinion: this is a great film, whether or not you’ve seen the others, and all gore lovers should go see it!