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Evil Dead Rise

Evil Dead Rise

We've waded through blood and guts to give a rating to New Line Cinema's latest Evil Dead remake.

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The Deadites are back! This time, however, the focus is not on young people being terrorised in a forest cabin, but on an estranged family. The reunion between two sisters who have drifted apart from each other's lives doesn't last long when the older sister's son finds a copy of the Necronomicon, and once he flips through the pages of death, an evil comes to life in the apartment they inhabit and slaughters everything in its path. The only way to survive is to stick together, but that becomes difficult when the demon keeps finding new ways to separate the vulnerable family.

Evil Dead Rise is a reboot of Sam Raimi's cult classic horror films, but it works just as well as a sequel because the premise is as simple as the last one: an indescribable, unstoppable evil is messing with everyone until it's time to bring out the raging chainsaw. Everything from razor-sharp drone blades to rusty graters are used here, and after watching it you feel drenched in blood, guts and brain matter. It's also overflowing in clichés for those who know their splatter horror and often you find yourself in that "why is she taking so long" seat when you have time to dissect the slapstick scenes. However, I'm mostly being picky, because there is also a lot to be gained in terms of pace, intensity and focus. Lee Cronin's keen narrative skills are as sharp as the many tools used to butcher bodies. Cutting up the formula of the series and welding new limbs and ingredients to it in this sequel, Cronin not only manages to capture that twisted Sam Raimi signature, but he manages to make his own mark as a filmmaker, such as when a massacre is witnessed from a peephole and how the tight perspective leaves some things to your morbid imagination.

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It's simply exciting to have a film where you don't always know what's going to happen. Hollywood films often use child characters that you know will make it to the end of the film. In this film? Don't always be sure. Granted, it's easy to figure out how the ending will play out and I wish the filmmakers had used more of the apartment and its inhabitants, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining because it, and the claustrophobic space offered, are used extensively. It's delightfully evil and disgusting at times, just the way splatter fans like it. The film's best asset is also Alyssa Sutherland, who is downright delightful in her terrifying role as a possessed mother and dominates every scene her wide-eyed demon face pops up in.

It would have been easy for the filmmakers to rely solely on old Evil Dead tropes, as with the chainsaw that appears towards the end, but it really works for Cronin to centre the horror around a small family and also works well as a launching point for even more Evil Dead nastiness. It may not be as grotesque as the otherwise mediocre 2013 film or as delightfully weird as Raimi's series, but the balance of drama, dark humour and violence is great once the terror starts. It's not a ground-breaking horror, but Evil Dead Rise still manages to rekindle the brilliance of the series with its love of fleshy messes. After seeing the film, you'll feel like you've been bathed in blood, brain slime and cranial pieces, which is the best thing you can say about an Evil Dead film.

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Evil Dead Rise
07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
overall score
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Evil Dead Rise

Evil Dead Rise

MOVIE REVIEW. Written by André Lamartine

We've waded through blood and guts to give a rating to New Line Cinema's latest Evil Dead remake.



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