Review – Evil Dead Rise (2022)

With its origins dating back over 40 years ago, five films in its repertoire, and a string of classic catchphrases, The Evil Dead movies are a certifiable success. Adding to this stellar reputation is Lee Cronin’s bloody and bold contribution to what might just be one of the most beloved horror series. With all the hype and pressure of delivering a horror that lives up to its well-received predecessor Evil Dead (2013), it can safely be assumed that Cronin must’ve certainly felt the heat.

The fifth instalment is not a carbon copy of any of its predecessors. Besides the odd pov camera angle, chainsaw weaponry, and the essential Necronomicon, Evil Dead Rise is totally original, forgoing predictability in favour of focusing its attention on the unexpected, making a ruse out of the whole narrative. With that being said, Cronin throws in plenty of callbacks to classic horror movies, making use of throwbacks to elicit a nod of appreciation from its seasoned audience and to introduce new fans to the delights that await them. The Exorcist (1978), The Shining (1980), and The Thing (1984) are just some of the many classic movies that Cronin sprinkles in. 

The film takes the burgeoning concept of reallocating classic movie franchises to the city, hoping to conjure widespread, uncontainable fear. Whilst many Evil Dead fans may have been apprehensive about the big city move, the apartment complex setting makes for a dreadfully claustrophobic atmosphere that suffocates and annihilates every step of the way.

Evil Dead Rise gives way to many nerve-racking scares; there’s certainly an abundance of frights that will have you looking over your shoulder for a day or two and develop a lifelong fear of door spy holes! At the crux of Evil Dead Rise’s success is the film’s toe-curling violence that starts at the very beginning of the film, not letting you have the chance to breathe, let alone enjoy an escapist moment or two. The terror is fast-paced and beyond brutal; the sheer quantity of bloodshed is not just generous but almost entirely repulsive (in the best way possible).

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