Movie Review: Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Synopsis: While picking up pizza with his siblings, a teenager, Danny, discovers a hidden vault in the parking garage of his apartment building (a former bank) following an earthquake and retrieves a strange book and a set of records. While listening to the records, he accidentally releases a demonic force from the book that possesses his mother, Ellie.

Who's in it? The movie stars Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher and Gabrielle Echols.

Review: There was part of me that was tempted to see this film at the theater when it first came out because I do like the Evil Dead franchise overall. However, I had just enough doubts about it to decline and waited until I had an opportunity to watch it at home instead. My wife and I did that last night, and it turns out I was right to be skeptical.

I've said this before about other films in the horror genre but will say it again because it is worth repeating. Excessive gore doesn't equal scary. This film is a good example of that, focusing on the former and being kind of dull as a result.

The biggest problem with this movie is the evil force that terrorizes the family is kind of wimpy, at least in my opinion. Simply put, it's capable of doing a whole lot of things, as evidenced from other movies in the franchise. Yet, when they lock a possessed Ellie (Sutherland) in the hallway, she's not even capable of figuring out a deadbolt. So, instead of a movie that features things like rapist trees, you have a movie that features a woman standing in the hallway trying to trick someone into unlocking the door.

Of course, I think the fact Bruce Campbell isn't in the newer movies plays a role as well. He was a big part of the reason the earlier films were so entertaining, even as they got to be more goofy than scary. I'm not saying the actors in this film didn't do a good job. I'm just saying they didn't do anything to really stand out. Perhaps if he would have had a cameo or something, this film would have been somewhat memorable as a result, though I don't think even he could have saved it.

Final Opinion: If you like films with a lot of blood and guts but no real substance, this is a good choice. If you are looking for something scary, there are better choices out there.

My Grade: D


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