Cinema Dispatch: Evil Dead Rise

Evil Dead Rise and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Lee Cronin

Not to toot my own horn but I’m of the last generation to actually rent movies from video stores, and while I never had a cool indie place to find obscure classics, my local Blockbuster had a decent collection that included the first Evil Dead movie.  Needless to say that taking it home without any understanding of what I was getting myself into turned out to be a formative experience and I’ve had a soft spot for the franchise ever since.  Still, we’re over forty years removed from that first movie, and with sequels, remakes, video games, and even that TV show from a few years ago, it’s fair to say that you’ll need to do something quite different to crawl out from under the shadow of the original trilogy.  Can this latest take on the material hope to fill those massive shoes, or has it long since run its course, and are we left with the undead facsimile of what we once loved?  Let’s find out!!

Unlike the previous films which kept the action to either a cabin in the woods or a medieval kingdom, our story begins in the city of Los Angeles where Beth (Lily Sullivan) visits her sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) and her three kids, Danny, Bridget, and Kassie (Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, and Nell Fisher) who are trying to make ends meet despite being kicked out of their apartment building in the coming days.  Fortune seems to favor this family however as an earthquake hits that rips open a secret bank vault beneath the building and Danny goes in to find a mysterious old book and some old records that they may be able to sell for a few bucks.  I mean if he had a chance to get it on eBay I’m sure he’d make a mint given how obsessive Evil Dead fans are, but sadly the book has other plans as the record contains the ancient incantation to summon the Deadites which finds a nice comfy home in Ellie and starts making things awkward for everyone.  Can this family survive the night and escape the clutches of this rampaging Deadite?  Does the book contain any clues on how to stop this, and are there chapters within it that we’ve never seen before?  Is anyone else a little perplexed at how much of a downer this seems like?  I don’t know; maybe there was a reason these movies were more about Ash than the lore?

“Give me some sugar, Baby!”     “Uh… maybe later?”
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