While it definitely was the worst of the Evil Dead franchise, Evil Dead Rise checks off most of the Evil Dead boxes you'd want to see. Gore? Check. Cabin? Sort of check. I think the strongest thing this movie had going for it was the location. Instead of taking place in the usual cabin, this one takes place in an apartment complex, focusing on a family of five trying to survive the latest Evil Dead shenanigans. So without any further ado.... ordiamur (latin for "let us begin")
Much like Predator, Friday the 13th, and the unforgettable Leprechaun series, Evil Dead decided to stretch out of its comfort zone and move into the city. What didn't work for those movies works here. I loved Evil Dead (original and remake), but there are only so many creative concepts you can execute in cabins. Having Evil Dead Rise take place in a California apartment building allowed the creators of this movie to at least try a few new thing . Which was basically just the elevator scene. I do wish it had been a whole building Evil Dead thing, but the eyehole scene alone makes the change of environment well worth the watch.
As with any Evil Dead movie, almost no character is off limits from the Dead part of the title. The main character is usually fine, shreds some evil meat, then escapes. This entry in the series doesn't really move too far away from that, but it has no problem killing anyone regardless of age, which I feel like isn't something you see in a blockbuster movie these days. So while we all know the main character is fine, the people around them are definitely not, best not get too attached to any character in the movie. The stakes also seem pretty high at the beginning, implying that this is the rise of Evil Dead, and that instead of the usual cabin one offs it is more of a world conquering event like in Ash Vs. Evil Dead. So while those stakes are interesting to see, I doubt we will get many more movies from this franchise. Heck the remake was ten years ago.
The humans in the movie were sub par. The demons however? Phenomenal. Alyssa Sutherland delivers as a demon mother, and she rightfully steals each and every scene she is in. Every other demonized character in the movie nails it as well, doing an incredible (2 spooky) job. The characters are meant to be stupid, like SUPER horror movie stupid, but seeing the characters play a version of themselves that seems SO different is very impressive. And while we are on the topic of it, these characters split up Cabin In The Woods style constantly, that there MUST be someone pumping stupid gas into every room.
This movie checks off most of the "Evil Dead" boxes viewers want, but besides an environment change this doesn't really breath fresh life into a franchise that might be dead.