Spoiler Free Movie Review: Evil Dead Rise Is A Brutal, Blood-Drenched Treat

May 1, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com

The Evil Dead franchise began with Evil Dead in 1981, Sam Raimi’s classic starring the oh so “groovy” Bruce Campbell. After several installments, director Fede Alvarez took the franchise in a new, more serious direction in 2013 with Evil Dead, starring Jane Levy. The second installment of the new branch of the franchise has just landed in theaters, Evil Dead Rise. Being the Evil Dead lover that I am, I headed to the theater to see it.


I went into it knowing that it would be very different from the first Evil Dead I fell in love with and trying to keep an open mind. This is key for horror fans. You must compartmentalize and see the two branches separately.


Evil Dead Rise moves the franchise out of the forest and into the city. It tells the twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing deadites, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival.


The movie’s leads, Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland, are fantastic! Sutherland gives a skin-crawling, unforgettable performance, with Sullivan’s Beth serving as the heart of the film and the hero. But it’s clear the story is secondary to the bloodshed.


One thing that surprised me about Rise is its brutality; Yeah, I know, they are all pretty brutal, but it goes far beyond its predecessors. Not only were there adult victims brutally injured and killed, but for the first time in the franchise, several children were involved. Writer-director.  Lee Cronin held nothing back, no one is safe. Watching what happens to the children made this horror veteran cringe. But it was a smart move on the part of the Cronin. There are two things that can get under the skin of most horror fans, stories that put animals or children in harm’s way. Cronin really takes advantage of that. Evil Dead Rise goes far beyond what we’re used to in that department.


If you are a gorehound, this movie will fuel your wet dreams. According to reports, over 1,717 gallons of fake blood were used in the film. A human body only holds 1 1/2 gallons, if that gives you an idea. And the wounds, Jesus, there are so many brutal injuries and deaths. The special effects and makeup team did an incredible job, especially with Sutherland’s makeup. It looks so damn good.


The movie pays homage to the original franchise several times, which is excellent. I mean, really, what would an Evil Dead movie be without someone picking up a chainsaw?


So, here’s my verdict, Evil Dead Rise is an action-packed, blood-drenched movie that most horror fans will love. Overall, it was entertaining and slightly stomach-churning, which isn’t a bad thing. If you are going to watch it, I urge you to see it in theaters. It will not be the same watching it at home unless you have one hell of a sound system and a big ass TV.


Watch Evil Dead Rise now in theaters nationwide.



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