The Reel Review


A demon is unleashed on a divorced mom, her three kids and her visiting sister after an earthquake reveals a 100-year-old evil book of the dead under the parking garage of their soon-to-be-condemned Los Angeles apartment building. This fifth installment in the Evil Dead horror franchise is a reboot of sorts of the 1981 original.

Alyssa Sutherland in Evil Dead Rise

For those of you who felt Fede Alvarez’s 2013 reboot was the pinnacle of gore, hold my beer. Writer/director Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) amps up the bloody, cringey, gross out factor in this very intense and gruesome reboot that is made to order for Deadite fans who like their horror bathed in a comical amount of blood and body parts, and a lifetime of therapy for its traumatized survivors. Australians Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings, The Mist) and Lily Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock) both do a fine job as the imperiled sisters.

Lily Sullivan in Evil Dead Rise

Spending way too little time on the way more intriguing backstory about the demonic book with blood for ink and paper made from human skin (yikes!), instead we get the predictable gouged-out eyes, shot-off limbs, head impalements, an all-you-can-eat buffet of blood and vomit, and battles with a cheese grater, the requisite chain saw and – wait for it – a wood chipper. The only real shocker is in the body count, which surprisingly, includes kids. The 2013 reboot is still better, but Evil Dead Rise, even with its tacked-on opening and closing scenes setting up a sequel, manages to rise well above the very low bar set by most splatter films and at least entertain its target audience.


Evil Dead Rise initially was intended for a straight-to-streaming release on HBO Max, but after performing strongly in test screenings, Warner Bros. Pictures decided on a theatrical release.

• Writer/director Lee Cronin says 6500 liters (1720 gallons) of fake blood were used in the movie.

Alyssa Sutherland appeared as a guest judge on Australia’s Top Model (left), and as Queen Aslaug in Vikings.

• Former fashion model Alyssa Sutherland is best known for her role as Queen Aslaug in the History Channel series Vikings.


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