For day three of October Frights, I am reviewing Evil Dead Rise. For anyone who wants to check it
out, it’s currently available on Netflix, and probably lots of other streaming apps and sites.
I love the Evil Dead franchise. It’s probably my favourite of all the horror franchises, although I’m a
fickle fan and sometimes my favourite is Hellraiser instead. I’ve previously written a blog post about
the original trilogy of films Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness which you can read here –
So, Evil Dead Rise has a lot to live up to. How does it fare?
Like Talk to Me, Evil Dead Rise seems to open with a prologue. The first scene is wonderfully
reminiscent of the dark force in Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, zooming between trees, accompanied by
an eerie buzzing, and it’s a lot more fun when we learn what’s actually happening. There are two
violent deaths before the prologue ends and the main film begins.
The main story opens in a grimy nightclub bathroom where Beth is taking a pregnancy test. She
travels to see her sister, who lives in a beautiful if creepy red-brick high-rise with ivy creeping up the
walls. A glorious mix of the modern urban setting and a haunted house vibe. In fact, the film is
visually stunning throughout, and I really enjoyed it during my first viewing. Make up effects and
body movements are genuinely creepy, although the music is melodramatic and overdone at times.
The film references the source material in quirky and cool ways – Staffanie is a fun Boomstick
replacement, Beth runs at the camera during one scene which echoes the way Ash runs (in AofD if I
remember correctly), and yes there is a chainsaw. There’s gore and blood aplenty, especially in the
final scenes, but they weren’t scary. Impressive sure, but not scary.
I think it’s a film worth watching once, but I enjoyed my second viewing a lot less. It was then that
the film’s flatness, predictability, and dare I say laziness, became excruciatingly apparent. Although, I
suspect my main problem was simply one of taste and expectation. Evil Dead Rise isn’t funny. The
beauty of the first three films and the amazing Ash versus Evil Dead show was the brilliant mix of
horror and humour. It didn’t matter how dark the films got, five minutes later the audience would
cry tears of laughter. Evil Dead Rise shows us how hard life is for single parents and their kids.
Instead of laughter we are weighed down by gritty, unrelenting reality. There are one or two
moments of levity – the drone pretending to be an evil force and the eyeball in the mouth scene that
made me chuckle, but nothing that made me scream with laughter, and that’s really what I want
from Evil Dead.
Raimi, make us laugh. That’s where your true genius lies.
The following blogs are involved in the October Frights event. Please check them out and show them
Always Another Chapter
Be Afraid of the Dark
Carmilla Voiez British Horror Author (The guest author is here)
Angela Yuriko Smith
James P. Nettles
Silver Hollow Stories (You are here)
Return tomorrow for a review of three books inspired by Lovecraft.
Carmilla Voiez is a British horror and fantasy writer living in Scotland. Her influences include
Graham Masterton, Thomas Ligotti, and Clive Barker. She is pansexual and passionate about
intersectional feminism and human rights. Carmilla has a First-Class Bachelor’s degree in
Creative Writing and Linguistics. Her work includes stories in horror anthologies published
by Crystal Lake Publishing, Clash Books and Mocha Memoirs; a co-authored Southern Gothic
Horror novel; two self-published graphic novels, and the award-winning, dark
fantasy/horror Starblood trilogy. Graham Masterton described the second book in her
Starblood trilogy as a “compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie
world vividly to life”. Carmilla is also a freelance editor and mentor who enjoys making