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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Evil Dead Rise - Uninspired Rehash of a Beloved Franchise

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Released 04-21-2023

Watched 05-20-2023

Reviewed 05-26-2023

"Destroy it! It's called the Book of the Dead for a reason!"

It's no easy task to breathe new life into a franchise as iconic as Evil Dead, and sadly, 'Evil Dead Rise' falls short of the high bar set by its predecessors. While it excels in delivering what the franchise is infamously known for - gruesome, relentless gore - it suffers from a paper-thin plot and lackluster character development that made the originals so compelling.

For horror fans seeking an adrenaline rush, 'Evil Dead Rise' indeed offers a breakneck, blood-soaked journey. The set pieces are drenched in a feverish spectacle of visceral horror that fans of gore would revel in. The filmmakers' dedication to the series' long-standing tradition of body horror and grotesque visual effects is commendable, if not excessive.

However, amidst this relentless onslaught of visceral horror, the heart of the story is lost. The narrative promised a fraught reunion between estranged sisters, a plot point that could have injected some much-needed emotional depth and character development. Yet, the film barely scratches the surface of their fractured relationship, leaving us indifferent to their plight.

The characters, including the main protagonists, remain largely underdeveloped. This results in a lack of connection between them and the audience, significantly reducing the emotional stakes and making their struggle for survival feel inconsequential. In this film, characters seem to exist merely as vessels for the ensuing carnage rather than as fully-realized individuals with whom we can empathize.

Moreover, the film's minimalistic plot leaves much to be desired. The storyline feels merely like an excuse to stage the gore, lacking any substantial twists or a compelling narrative arc. The premise could have been a springboard for a more complex and engaging plot, but instead, it feels like an afterthought in the chaos.

In conclusion, 'Evil Dead Rise' feels more like a missed opportunity rather than a fitting tribute to its revered predecessors. Its focus on relentless gore and action over substantial character development and plot depth undermines what could have been a riveting installment in the franchise. Hardcore fans might find some enjoyment in the grisly visuals, but for those seeking a horror film with more meat on its bones, this one leaves much to be desired.

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