EVIL DEAD RISE is the latest installment in the beloved Evil Dead franchise. As a long-time fan of the series, with a special place in my heart for ARMY OF DARKNESS, I was excited to see what the latest film had to offer. Unfortunately, while the movie delivers on the terrifying scenes promised in the trailer, it lacks originality and substance.
The movie follows two estranged sisters who reunite only to find themselves facing an army of flesh-possessing demons. The story sets the stage for a primal battle for survival as they confront the most nightmarish version of family imaginably. While the premise is intriguing, the execution falls short due to a lack of direction and a fumbled, put-together story that tries to blend relevance to today's society with the key elements from the original film.
Despite this, the gore in the film is tremendous, and the cast works well within the realm of what they have. However, I feel that audiences will be polarized by the film, with many not too happy with the almost "Alex Garland" style ending. It leaves us unsure where the franchise is headed, and the movie seems like a regurgitation of the Fede Alvarez remake, which I also despised.
Overall, I give EVIL DEAD RISE a 2/5 rating for a lack of effort. Instead, I wish the filmmakers would return to the world of ARMY OF DARKNESS, which would do well among all the period streaming shows out now. In conclusion, while the latest entry in the Evil Dead franchise has some good elements, it ultimately lacks the heart and direction that made the original films so memorable.