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Evil Dead Rise Review: A Near-Perfect Blend of Humor, Horror, and Homage

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Unleashing a riotous blend of horror, humor, and homage, Evil Dead Rise reanimates the legendary franchise, breathing new life into the cult-classic formula. Lee Cronin’s vision offers a refreshing update to Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead films while incorporating the gruesome and unsettling elements of Fede Álvarez’s 2013 remake. With a change of scenery, fresh faces, and a standout performance by Alyssa Sutherland, Evil Dead Rise proves that there’s still plenty of fight left in this undead saga.

Striking a balance between Álvarez’s visceral remake and Raimi’s comedy-heavy Evil Dead 2, Cronin’s spinoff offers a rollercoaster of emotions, with brutal kills, disturbing child endangerment, and a generally bleak tone. However, the film still manages to inject moments of levity, effortlessly juggling scares and laughs without undermining either. A perfect fit for a horror-loving audience, Evil Dead Rise is best enjoyed with a boisterous crowd that relishes the gore and revels in the humor.

The film deviates from the traditional cabin-in-the-woods setting, instead centering on a family tormented by Deadites in the heart of a big city. The narrative primarily focuses on a single Deadite, with Alyssa Sutherland delivering a chilling performance as Ellie, a mother possessed by demonic forces after her child uncovers the Book of the Dead. As Ellie’s sister Beth, Lily Sullivan excels in her role, adding depth and complexity to her character while maintaining the franchise’s signature blend of horror and comedy.

Cronin masterfully uses the urban setting to create a sense of claustrophobia, transforming everyday objects into sinister weapons and giving characters little room to escape their apartment. The film’s practical effects and love for the original Evil Dead movies are evident, as Cronin packs the script with visual references and homages to Raimi’s classics. This fan service adds to the movie’s charm and enjoyment.

Evil Dead Rise is a worthy addition to the franchise. Its tight 97-minute runtime and balance of humor and horror make it an enjoyable experience for both newcomers and longtime fans. The film revitalizes the horror-comedy series by blending Raimi’s old-school approach with modern gruesome horror, demonstrating that there’s still plenty to explore within this iconic franchise.

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In comparison to Fede Álvarez’s 2013 remake, Evil Dead Rise offers a more balanced and engaging experience, incorporating elements of the original films while injecting fresh ideas and locations. The combination of thrilling scares and dark humor, makes this film a triumphant resurrection of the beloved series.

With a clever introduction, exhilarating pacing, and masterful execution, Evil Dead Rise’s reinvigorated take on the classic franchise showcases that the undead spirit of the series is still very much alive, and horror fans have every reason to celebrate.

RATING: 4.0 out of 5.0

Evil Dead Rise is in theaters on April 21st.

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