Vampire Owl: I think that they are talking about me.
Vampire Bat: You are not part of any Evil Dead stuff.
Vampire Owl: I am the rising evil coming from the dead.
Vampire Bat: Yes, but the movie is surely not about your rise.
Vampire Owl: Does my rising from the dead every day bother these humans?
Vampire Bat: I don’t think that humans are bothered about dead owls returning to trees.
Vampire Owl: Don’t they have time to bother about such important things?
Vampire Bat: They are only worried about silly things which make no sense.
Vampire Owl: Yet, zombies are interested in eating their brains too.
Vampire Bat: A common zombie would eat the brain fried rice of anyone.
[Gets a paneer masala dosa and three cups of cardamom tea].
What is the movie about? :: Jessica (Anna-Maree Thomas), Teresa (Mirabai Pease) and Caleb (Richard Crouchley) are having a vacation in a cabin in the woods by the lakeside, when something strange happens to one of them. As Jessica seems to be possessed by some strange supernatural entity, there is the reminder about a series of incidents which happened in an apartment block back in the city of Los Angeles. In the city, Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) is a single parent who takes good care of her children Bridget (Gabrielle Echols), Dannie (Morgan Davies) and Kassie (Nell Fisher), and is also loved by everyone living in those apartments. They are visited by Beth (Lily Sullivan), the only sister of Ellie who works in the music industry. They have had some misunderstandings in the past, but are back to their past as loving siblings. It is then that an earthquake hits the apartment complex while the kids are at the basement as they return with pizza and drinks. They notice that the earthquake has created a massive hole on the basement floor.
So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Danny decides to investigate the strange hole, and discovers that there are different religious artifacts, along with some phonograph records and a strange-looking book which he takes back up to his room, even though the other children are not really fond of the findings. It turns out that the Book of the Dead has been found, and as he plays the phonograph records against the advice of Bridget, he unleashes the demons. These creatures take control of Ellie in the elevator through the vines which runs through her body, almost twisting her body parts. As she returns to the apartment, she begins to act strangely, and collapses all of a sudden. Beth and the children feel that she is dead, as there is no sign of life in her body. Her body seems to be in a somewhat decomposed already. But very soon, Ellie seems to wake up from her sleep, confused for a few seconds, but soon getting to attack her own family. All the family members work hard to keep her outside their apartment, but the possessed mother ends up murdering everyone in the nearby apartments who try to come out.
And what more is to follow in this tale of evil unleashed from a book of the dead? :: Ellie in her possessed form is still smart enough to almost make Kassie open the door for her. Bridget soon finds herself also possessed by the demons after being attacked and wounded by Ellie. Meanwhile, Ellie finds out that vents can be a good option to attack her own family. Bridget soon begins to attack the family, only to be impaled by accident by Kassie. Beth tries to learn more about the demons by listening to the phonograph. At the same time, Bridget manages to rise from the dead again, and Ellie gets into their home through the vents. At the same time, the dead people outside also find themselves alive in their undead state, ready to attack the family. They declare with confidence that the whole family would by dead by dawn. At the same time, the elevator doesn’t seem to work, and the stairs have also collapsed. There is the option of fire escape, but that would be a long distance away, with the undead awaiting them outside their home. Now, can Beth find a way to save what remains of the family with herself? Is there any chance to stop the possessed Ellie and Bridget? Does anyone know how to stop the ancient demons right out of the Book of the Dead?
The defence of Evil Dead Rise :: This rise of the dead makes sure that things get interesting from the beginning stages itself – it is the first few minutes that establishes the return of horror like no other moment. There are some nice dialogues which contribute well to the horror too, and most of them come from the main antagonist herself. The tall Los Angeles building seems to serve the demons’ purpose very well, if used well enough. The bloody side is strong, and the elevator filled with blood makes the point well. There is some difference from the other movies in display here too. The leading ladies have also come up with some fine performances. Lily Sullivan is the scream queen who can do wonders with a possible sequel too, as she has already shown here. Alyssa Sutherland is a fine possessed creature in the movie, even though the humour added to her character make it feel strange at times. Another interesting thing would be to guess how Anna-Maree Thomas would work with her character in the next possible movie if it chooses to continue this story, and one would also like to see Mirabai Pease in an alive character. The dark and gloomy atmosphere of this world would stay for long, that is for sure as we wait for more sequels.
The claws of flaw :: It is surprising that Evil Dead Rise often descends too much into comedy instead of continuing as the terrifying piece that it was always expected to be. It didn’t need those silly sequences which weakens the demon power. After all, these are demons who are to make human lives living hell, and they are required to act like them. There could have been more scary sequences used, and the shocking elements used here are not of that much of an effect. The demons could have come up with so many things with their chaotic skills, but it is too much limited in scope. The makers have to remember that these are not the viewers of those days when those first three movies released. There was the need for more innovation to make things better. The vine scene in the elevator could have been creepier, as the same in the forest was more terrifying in nature with the support of the environment. The surroundings of the tall apartment complex could have also been better used. You just cannot expect blood and gore to do the job all the time, as some real terror can always do better. When we look at the film reviews too, there is much more that everyone had expected, seemingly clear from the reaction of the audience in the theatre.
How it finishes :: When it is the case of Evil Dead, we are all interested. We have all been interested from childhood itself, as it has been that franchise which introduced many of us into the bloody and gory horror which knew no substitutes. Whether it is with the older franchises of horror or with those newer ones, there is nothing that matches the level of Evil Dead. The earlier version of the movie had come out in 2013, and it was no exception. The first movie was there before we were born, and that was legendary. This one comes so many years later, and during these times, it is even more difficult to make the horror work with such efficiency. This version of the movie manages to do the same up to an extent in style. There are indeed those moments to remember in this film, and we are only glad to have this particular sequel, which leaves the door open for more. The demons of Evil Dead will always have a different status in comparison to others, and the newer crowd favourites like The Conjuring, Insidious, Sinister and Annabelle can remember.
Release date: 21st April 2023
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Lee Cronin
Starring: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, Nell Fisher, Mirabai Pease, Anna-Maree Thomas, Richard Crouchley, Jayden Daniels, Billy Reynolds-McCarthy, Tai Wano
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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.