It looks like the one thing that can be guaranteed about the new Evil Dead Rise is that there will be blood – lots and lots of blood. Lee Cronin, the director of the latest movie based on the Evil Dead franchise, tweeted a handful of behind the scenes stills as he celebrated the end of filming on the new movie which will once more bring the Deadites of the Necronomicon out of the darkness and into the lives of some unsuspecting victims. While it is always a welcome sight to see another round of Evil Dead mayhem, an Evil Dead movie without Bruce Campbell’s unlikely hero Ash Williams always has a bit of a mountain to climb for fans of the franchise, so can Evil Dead Rise chop its way to hail the king? Well it does have a few things going for it.
“8 months, 1 Covid Lockdown, 6,500 litres of blood, and more memories than my brain can even process. That is a wrap on [Evil Dead Rise]. Thank you New Zealand, it’s been a blast. Time to head home and cut this beast together,” Lee Cronin commented while posting images of bloody shoes, bloody shoe prints and a bloody director.
The latest attempt to revive the Evil Dead is both written and directed by Cronin, who made his directorial debut with The Hole in the Ground in 2019 and also collaborated with original Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi on the horror anthology series 50 States of Fright. Raimi, and indeed Campbell, are both on board Evil Dead Rise in an executive producer capacity, and that in itself can surely only be a good thing as far as keeping the feeling and tone of the movie in line with the previous outings goes.
The Evil Dead movies have always been a prime example of a cult classic movie, originating as an extremely low budget, experimental film created by friends, that made a little bit of money on its release but over time gained a legacy that money cannot buy. Of course, that legacy was aided greatly by the Video Nasty era, when Evil Dead seemed to take the biggest beating by censors and those actively fighting against excessive violence in movies, and for that reason worked its way to becoming an almost legendary benchmark in horror movies at the time.
Along with the horror though, The Evil Dead has always had a sense of its own ridiculousness and keeps its tongue firmly in cheek whether someone is beating themselves up with their own hand, or hacking off a head with a chainsaw. You know, all that kind of fun stuff. In many ways, that was where the 2013 reboot movie lost its way a little and garnered a whole host of mixed reviews depending on what you went into the movie expecting. If you were looking for bloody violence, then there was plenty of that, but the film mostly took itself too seriously the torturing of its leads became much too dark to bring any kind of humor to proceedings.
According to the blurb, in Evil Dead Rise “a road-weary Beth pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie, who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped L.A apartment. The sisters’ reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie’s building, giving rise to flesh-possessing demons, and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival as she is faced with the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable.” Like the reboot, the movie once again brings in female leads, with Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan taking on the roles of Ellie and Beth, with the rest of the cast being made up of Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, Neil Fisher and Mia Challis.
When it comes down to it, Cronin was chosen by Raimi to continue the Evil Dead saga, and we can only hope that he has made the right choice. The movie will not go to cinemas though and will instead go straight to streaming on HBO Max in the US sometime later in 2022.