Movie Review: Evil Dead Rise (Cronin, 2023)

Image Source:

Movie: Evil Dead Rise 

Production Companies: New Line Cinema, Renaissance Pictures, Pacific Renaissance, Wild Atlantic Pictures 

Director: Lee Cronin

Producer: Rob Tapert

Main Cast: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, Nell Fisher

Release Date: April 21st 2023 (US)

Running Time: 97 minutes 

Certificate: 18


Well, all arise for the latest Evil Dead film. Horrible pun aside, Evil Dead Rise is a very solid and gory addition into the cult horror franchise. Whether it’s the over the top gore, great practical effects or the obligatory Bruce Campbell appearance there’s something for every fan of the franchise to enjoy. And yes this is definitely not the film to watch if you’re squeamish or hate blood. Also, SPOILERS ahead. Now without further ado, let’s get into my review of the film.


Evil Dead Rise follows Beth (Sullivan) as she visits her sister, Ellie (Sutherland) and her kids, Danny, Bridget and Kassie. However, what starts out as a nice family visit soon turns nightmarish when an earthquake hits their derelict LA apartment block. This leads Danny to discover a wealth of forbidden and dangerous materials including a volume of the Natorum Demento, a nice reference there. What follows is a war against the spreading Deadite plague within the building which threatens to break the fractured family apart. Oh and yes there’s a chainsaw scene at the end which more than lives up to the trailer hype. Anyway, when the film’s tagline says Mommy loves you to death that’s quite a good summary of the plot especially since Ellie really loves her kids. Now with the synopsis out of the way, let’s get into the analysis portion of the review.


Special Effects in Evil Dead Rise 

To begin my analysis of Evil Dead Rise, I’m going to discuss the film’s special effects. Naturally, given the franchise’s championing of practical effects there’s some very good ones. Take for example the scene where Ellie becomes a Deadite. Here, Cronin spares no detail as her limbs begin to contort and crack while she’s pinned up against the ceiling. Just the fact that the sound of the cracking limbs combined with the bloody makeup really shows how much the film maximises it’s small budget. Another great example of the film’s special effects are the other Deadite transformation scenes.

Take when Bridget is transforming and we see her vomit up a very suspicious substance. Come to think about it maybe it wasn’t that bad…. Anyway, the fact the substance looks pretty real is again massive props to the film’s special effects. This is because it uses the most out of a little to create horrifyingly good effects. Again, while it’s not really special effects, look at the makeup used for the Deadites which instantly makes them horrifying, without knowing anything about them. This is especially true of Ellie when she’s tied up in bed to prevent her attacking the family. Honestly, the special effects are much better than most high budget horror films…

Violence and Gore in Evil Dead Rise

Continuing my analysis of Evil Dead Rise, I’m going to discuss the film’s violence and gore. Warning for this paragraph, if you really hate descriptions of gore maybe skip it. Now while the Evil Dead franchise has always been pretty gory, Evil Dead Rise really ups the violent ante. Not that it’s a bad thing at all… Anyway, the perfect example of this is the final confrontation between the hideous Deadite/Ellie hybrid crab and Beth. Basically, Beth uses a chainsaw to chop the Deadite into a woodchipper. Putting aside the brutality of the gore, it is in tune with the franchise especially as Cronin really emphasises the brutality.

Also, more examples of the films great use of violence and gore is when Ellie is rampaging through the corridors of the apartment complex. Here, we hear people getting ripped limb from limb from the perspective of Beth and the kids inside a locked apartment. This allows the audience to imagine the horrors of what Ellie is doing without Cronin revealing much. That is a clever trick as often the audience would imagine something worse than what you could show on camera. Oh and how could I forget the opening where a Deadite rips off her own sister’s scalp before drowning her boyfriend in a lake. Honestly, props to the film for knowing when and when to not show the extreme violence.

Cinematography in Evil Dead Rise 

To conclude my analysis of Evil Dead Rise, I’m going to discuss the film’s cinematography. Now, a great example of the film’s brilliant cinematography is the opening scene. This scene sees the aforementioned Deadite rampage at a lakeside cabin. But the best cinematography within the scene is the shot of the Deadite hovering over a lake while the title card arises from behind the mountains. Honestly, that shot alone demonstrates the cleverness of the cinematography as instead of cutting to a black title card screen, the blood red titles behind the mountain symbolises the violence to come. Also, look at the final confrontation as the camera is a lot more mobile. This allows Cronin to mimic the Deadites movement in order to really terrify the audience.

Also the change to a more static camera for Beth chainsawing (is that a word?) the Deadite into a woodchipper is a nice touch. This is because it really brings out the emotional side of Beth as despite the Deadite being a monster, there’s still a part of her that cares for her sister. Oh also, the POV cinematography used in the scene where Ellie is choosing which child to eat is brilliant as all we see are her kid’s terrified faces and her bony finger pointing at them. All this adds extra tension and drama to a very tense scene already.


To summarise Evil Dead Rise, this is a very solid and violent entry into the violent cult horror franchise. It’s full of great gore and practical effects, which pay homage to its roots under Sam Raimi, while also bringing in some clever modern cinematography. So all rise for the next wave of the Evil Dead franchise and don’t watch it while eating….

Overall Rating: 7/10

Target Audience: 18+

Content Warning: Severe Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Severe Frightening and Intense Scenes, Mild Alcohol Drugs 

Recommendation: Yes