Of all the cult horror series (Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, etc.), Evil Dead is the most consistent. There has never been an episode too many and the most recent installment confirms this guarantee of quality.
Although Evil Dead Rise trades the cabin lost in the forest (a good idea after the disappointing Knock at the Cabin) for an apartment in Los Angeles, fans will be delighted. We find everything that makes the charm of this creation: characters heavily abused by malignant entities, an eye expelled from its socket, a chainsaw that is far from gathering dust and pounds of blood spilled.
This variation on the original volume produced in 1981 by a very young Sam Raimi (it was long before he started making superhero films) captures his soul to better transpose it to the taste of the day. Family has replaced the traditional getaway with friends and the script takes advantage of the situation, dealing with the fear of motherhood and the difficulty of parenthood through its endearing heroines who are played by compelling little-known actresses, Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland.
Unlike its honorable 2013 remake, this new proposal pushes the humor to the point of short-circuiting the narrative, which becomes more and more excessive and hysterical, without however reaching the general madness of the unequaled Evil Dead II. It begins with a hilarious and bloody introduction in subjective camera. Then, after too long a presentation of the characters, the pleasure is palpable during absurd sessions of possession to make The Pope’s Exorcist jealous. The direction by Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) proves solid even if it could have been even more personalized.
At a time when the most harrowing productions take the form of surreal nightmares (Beau Is Afraid) or minimalist hallucinations (Enys Men), it’s refreshing to see that an old-school film like Evil Dead Rise still has its place. Without being particularly original, the whole thing ferociously entertains… especially hemoglobin lovers.