Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (2024)

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (1)teageegeepea-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    It can be argued that 1981’s The Evil Dead, made on a shoestring budget when director Sam Raimi was barely 21, kicked off the 1980s boom in horror comedy […] the 2013 Evil Dead remake was a more or less humorless repeat of Raimi’s first feature, and it failed to measure up to its predecessorsThe original Evil Dead is not a comedy. The label “humorless” could also fit, unless you think a woman being raped by a tree is funny. I actually prefer the 2013 version to that original, and while I normally think less of horror-comedy for slighting the horror in favor of comedy, it was the right move for the original trilogy.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (2)bcfred2-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      It may have had a bit of queasy humor to it but yeah…that was a f*cking horror movie. The tone change in the first two sequels get retroactively (and inappropriately) applied to Evil Dead. I don’t think the tree rape was meant to be dark humor. It was horrific.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (3)cinecraf-av says:

        April 20, 2023 at 4:47 pm

        This. I remember the first time I saw Evil Dead, and I most definitely did not read it as comedic. It remains today one of the most unsettling and memorable movie viewing experiences I can recall having.

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        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (4)bcfred2-av says:

          April 20, 2023 at 4:52 pm

          Like many people, I rented it with friends (yeah I’m old) not really knowing what we were going to see. It certainly left an impression.

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          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (5)cinecraf-av says:

            April 20, 2023 at 5:56 pm

            I owe the old SciFi channel for introducing me to pretty much every classic in the genre. They used to do a week of horror movies leading up to Halloween, and each day had a theme. You’d have Dracula/vampire movies one day, Frankenstein another. Or they’d do a day of Hammer horror, or a day of indie horror with things like Night of the Living Dead and Evil Dead. It was a blast. I miss those days, and kind of mourn that future generations won’t have the same kind of curatorial experience that I did, getting to see so many top shelf movies in one place. It’s all so scattered now, you really have to know what you’re looking for in order to find it. There is less room for discovery.

          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (6)bcfred2-av says:

            April 20, 2023 at 6:35 pm

            Couldn’t agree more. The balkanization of content onto a dozen or more streaming platforms has made it that much worse, and I find the various algorithms push stuff I have no interest in for the most part. It’s also seriously reduced the opportunities for communal appreciation of anything but the biggest tentpole movies and prestige shows. Flipping through Netflix options is so much lesser.

          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (7)thelionelhutz-av says:

            April 20, 2023 at 10:51 pm

            The kids today probably handle it better, but I have never found streaming allows for the same collective experience of you and a bunch of friends hitting the video store and spreading out then coming back with a couple of choices each: “Oh, I heard this was good.” “I’ve always wanted to see this.” “This looks interesting.” “Did you know ‘X’ made this film?”I really doubt I would have seen as many foreign films as I did because of local, independent video stores with excellent collections and adventurous, knowledgeable friends.

          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (8)bcfred2-av says:

            April 24, 2023 at 2:03 am

            There’s no legitimate digital comparison to physically browsing a Blockbuster (or bookstore for that matter) and just letting your eye settle on something that grabs your attention.

      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (9)nowaitcomeback-av says:

        April 20, 2023 at 5:39 pm

        In college I feel like I watched Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness countless times with friends. But Evil Dead? Once, and never again. One of the only movies I can recall where I literally covered my eyes in parts. The movie does not shy away from the gore, and it’s pretty convincing given the budget.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (10)roark545-av says:

        April 21, 2023 at 11:54 am

        Yep. that part was “the part” when I first heard aboutit, nobody thought it was “funny’. However the slapstick elements many have mentioned add some version of humor to the film. Those moments give the audiencesomething like a respite from an otherwise relentless assault by the demon.But you know, people gotta get their gripes in and assertions that you must think “rape is funny” if you mention comedic elements in a film…wonder if they think “Pulp Fiction” has a any funny parts?

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (11)jackstark211-av says:

        April 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

        Yep.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (12)actionactioncut-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      Yeah,I’ve only seen the remake specifically because I heard it was less gnarly than the original.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (13)chris-finch-av says:

        April 20, 2023 at 5:04 pm

        The original is not that gnarly; I’ve avoided the remake because it sounds loads more gruesome (someone pulls their own face off, I hear)

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        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (14)brunonicolai-av says:

          April 20, 2023 at 6:55 pm

          The original is BY FAR the grossest of the three originals, with just massive amounts of blood spraying all over the place in a couple scenes, and unlike 2 it’s red in color. Plus that pencil to the ankle is one of the most painful things ever filmed!The remake is similar to the original. It’s massively gorier than 2 or 3, and the effects are a lot better than 1, but it is sort of tipping over into that fun barfbag territory where if you aren’t offended by it you’ll think they were trying to be funny. I think they were, especially with some gags like the tongue splitting. But yeah, if you’re sensitive to gore stay far away.

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          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (15)chris-finch-av says:

            April 20, 2023 at 7:23 pm

            I’d argue the gallons of spraying blood create an excess that’s a lot more desensitizing than someone slowly cutting their own face or tongue.

          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (16)luasdublin-av says:

            April 20, 2023 at 8:10 pm

            I first saw them when I was way too young ,so maybe I’m not a reliable witness but the first movie isn’t a comedy , but the violence especially inflicted on Ash is so OTT its almost funny, plus Campbell has enough charisma even back then that it doesn’t just feel like a “video nasty “horror of that era, 2 leaned into that and went with it .

    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (17)brunonicolai-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 6:52 pm

      The first movie definitely does tip over into comedy by the end in places. Like, the way Ash gets hit in the face repeatedly with blood is done with comedic timing by the end. Ash getting stuck in the bookshelf repeatedly. The goofy music that ends the movie, etc. It’s mostly serious but definitely is occasionally winking at the audience.I think the remake is similar in tone – it seems horrific but a few of the scenes are just SO gross that you can tell they were purposely pushing it over the edge a little bit to where it just became absurd.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (18)mifrochi-av says:

        April 21, 2023 at 11:37 am

        Ditto sight gags like the Band-Aid box floating in a pool of blood and the blood dripping onto the projector lens. The movie doesn’t commit to a comedic tone, but there’s comedy that arises from the relentlessness of the violence.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (19)TRT-X-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 8:08 pm

      Dead Alive was a horror comedy moreso than Evil Dead.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (20)eatsh*t-and-die-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 9:43 pm

      This author hasn’t seen any of the movies they’re talking about. You’re on AVClub.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (21)thelionelhutz-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 10:44 pm

      There seems to have been an editorial directive given out that any thing that the A.V. Club had once liked should be disliked in current reviews (or all the current reviewers are under 25 and just like taking swipes at anything from before 2015). This is the second review in a few weeks where an older film was slighted, but if you click through to the original A.V. Club review, it has as good or better grade than the current film (Scott Tobias gave the 2013 Evil Dead a B+ too). I’m glad this film is good, but why anything more than a decade old gets slighted (especially when the reviewer is wrong in calling the first Evil Dead a horror/comedy) is beyond me.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (22)crobrts-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 11:33 pm

      The original Evil Dead is not a comedy. The SECOND film leaned into the comedy, and then Army of Darkness went all in. All are great.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (23)eatthecheesenicholson3-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 12:13 am

      Thank you, that’s been annoying me as well. Everyone keeps saying something along those lines, and it’s obvious they’re conflating the original Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Ash vs. Evil Dead, and maybe even later Raimi like Drag Me to Hell. The first isn’t funny at all, not even in a super dark way. Or maybe someone told them that Cabin in the Woods is the original Evil Dead.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (25)adamtrevorjackson-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 3:47 pm

      it can be positioned as ‘arguably kicking off the comedy horror boom’ without being a comedy.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (26)teageegeepea-av says:

        April 21, 2023 at 8:02 pm

        How did the original Evil Dead pave the way for Ghostbusters?

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        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (27)adamtrevorjackson-av says:

          April 22, 2023 at 7:42 pm

          ask the person making that point? i’m not making that argument, just saying that having a part of kicking off the horror comedy boom is not the same thing as calling it a comedy.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (28)jimcognito1-av says:

      April 23, 2023 at 7:23 pm

      I’ve never been a fan of the tree scene in the original, but I would otherwise consider OG Evil Dead as a perfect film. The 2013 remake was ok, and the lack of a tree scene was a strength… until I saw the Unrated version which puts it back in.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (29)thepowell2099-av says:

      April 24, 2023 at 2:05 pm

      I’ve only seen the original ED, and the reason is that I found it so unpleasant that I lost all interest in seeing the sequels. Definitely not a comedy.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (30)fragad-av says:

      April 24, 2023 at 6:15 pm

      Came here to say the exact same thing. The only people who find “Evil Dead” funny, I think, are the ones who saw “Evil Dead 2″ and/or “Army of Darkness” before the original, and assumed the first film must also be wacky. It is not. I vividly remember discovering “Evil Dead” on VHS in 1986 and being really affected by how unsetting and horrific it was. And when I saw “Evil Dead 2″ in theaters opening weekend, I was taken aback at the goofy tone. I daresay I was confused and disappointed for the first half hour until I accepted what the movie was doing and went along for the ride, and wasin love with the film by the climax. I ended up seeing “Evil Dead 2″ five times in theaters that spring!

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (31)mshep-av says:

        April 25, 2023 at 1:34 pm

        The only people who find “Evil Dead” funny, I think, are the ones who saw “Evil Dead 2″ and/or “Army of Darkness” before the original, and assumed the first film must also be wacky.I’m sure there are some, but I’d guess that more common is folks who’ve simply conflated ED and ED2 in their memory. I, for one, saw the sequel first, and found the original to be absolutely f*cking harrowing.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (32)aliks-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    Wikipedia claims that Bruce Campbell does have a voice cameo as the speaker chanting on the record.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (33)bcfred2-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 3:19 pm

      He mentioned that in a recent interview as well, that he does have a voice cameo.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (34)dirtside-av says:

        April 20, 2023 at 4:16 pm

        A recent interview on this very website.

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        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (35)bcfred2-av says:

          April 20, 2023 at 4:51 pm

          Yeah I thought it was here but couldn’t remember.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (36)evilfab-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 7:42 pm

      And despite this:

      “As with the 2013 Evil Dead, there is no Ash in sight, not even a cameo from Campbell, who was the heart and soul of the franchise.”

      Campbell literally shows up as Ash in a post-credits cameo in the 2013 movie.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (37)seven-deuce-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 7:52 pm

      Bruce Campbell claims that too.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (38)ghboyette-av says:

      April 22, 2023 at 1:08 pm

      He’s on the record telling the guy about to chant “It’s called the book of the dead for a reason!”

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (39)putusernamehere-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    I’m one of those weirdos who thinks the 2013 remake is better than the original.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (40)bcfred2-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 3:20 pm

      I blew it off assuming it couldn’t possibly be, but with this coming out now maybe I’ll give it a shot. You’re not the first I’ve heard say that.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (41)necgray-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      I don’t agree BUUUT! I think it’s incredibly good. It’s a very different beast. It certainly was better than this review mentions off-hand.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (42)mortimercommafamousthe-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 7:50 pm

      Being too young to be nostalgic about the original(s) isn’t weird. It’s how linear time works, and why Hollywood trods out remakes of any notable franchise every 20 years.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (43)eatsh*t-and-die-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 9:45 pm

      It definitely isn’t. The easiest way to tell is how it in no way holds up to repeated viewings. The original does.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (44)jackstark211-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 2:42 pm

      I love the remake.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (45)cryptid-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 5:37 pm

      I’m one of those weirdos who thinks the 2013 remake is better than the original. I wouldn’t go that far, but I also wouldn’t brush it off as a “more or less humorless repeat” the way this review does, especially because the original is not exactly a laugh riot.
      The remake is different enough to stand alone. It’s more character oriented, with an addiction subplot that creates (at least at first) an ambiguous point of view totally absent from Raimi’s films. In effect, the movie implies that the heroine can’t totally separate her demons from the ones eviscerating her friends, or not at first. That take justifies the retelling, and gives the remake a psychological dimension that goes beyond the original, where most of the psychological punch (to lift an idea from Dave Kehr’s review of the sequel) comes from the viewer’s quesy identification with the demonic camera.Meanwhile, I don’t find the direction in the remake as original or dazzling as Raimi’s berserk camera. And the slicker production values of the remake give it a different character, without the same joy of seeing some random Michiganders DIY their way through a bloodbath. But the higherbudget is what lets Fede Alvarez make it literally rain blood, so why not?

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (46)unspeakableaxe-av says:

      April 28, 2023 at 9:00 pm

      The remake is alright. It’s well made, a good watch, pretty grueling. But the original was so unique because of Raimi. If the remake somehow existed without the original, I think it would be a movie remembered and loved by only a few horror hounds; the original is rightly a classic that helped create an entire new tributary of horror.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (47)bcfred2-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    “If you have even the slightest queasiness at the sight of…outlandish mutilations or, toward the end, a grotesque multi-limbed, demonic hybrid of what were once characters we cared about…”Oof. Body horror is the one thing that gets me because even if the good guys get away, they’re f*cked for life. Someone who’s become part of a demonic multi-limbed hybrid sure isn’t getting a happy ending.ETA: Grat image capture for the lead picture, though. Pretty much lets you know what you’re in for.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (48)chickenwingfan94-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 3:27 pm

    I never liked the slapstick comedy of Army of Darkness…might be a hot take, but I much prefer the “humorless” entries of this franchise.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (49)wrighteousg7g-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    I actually preferred the 2013 Evil Dead to the original film. I love the Ash comedy-horrors, but for straight “over the top” horror I think 2013 is really great.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (50)ghostiet-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Other people already pointed that out but yeah, the original Evil Dead isn’t a comedy. There are no real moments of levity – someone these days might think it’s supposed to be gross out funny but that’s really not the case, given how much of it is played horrifically straight and how downright depressing it gets. Raimi didn’t like horror too much and they pretty much made one because it was the most commercially viable route to take. Part of the reason why a lot of that film is so goddamn nasty and cruel is because they overcompensated for that exact reason – it ended up in this weird spot where the cheapness and insane gore made it feel more horrific than if they tried to play it subtle. Afterwards Raimi did lean into comedy and camp because that’s what he actually wanted to do with his career and the producers recognized that they can lean on that campiness going forward rather than hope lightning will strike twice.
    Alvarez’s Evil Dead actually manages to strike a similar balance there, with the film being comparably cruel and gruesome while remaining very over the top, just with better special effects. It even pays homage to Ash’s whole deal as the subversive horror protagonist in the first one: the dude isn’t a quippy badass, he’s a clumsy geek getting stuck underneath bookshelves until all the other eligible male protagonists die and he has to step up. Levy’s Mia is a drug addict who spends most of the film as the unwilling antagonist, then gets saved by the decoy protagonist and basically has to navigate the finale with 0 context for what is happening, stepping up properly at the very end of the film.But anyway, looking forward to this still. It’s a bit of a shame we’re probably done with Jane Levy’s character though, she’s awesome and she deserves a proper big break. It feels like she’s been having it all the time between Suburgatory, that Evil Dead remake, Don’t Breathe, Castle Rock and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist but it just can’t happen for her properly.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (51)necgray-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 4:10 pm

      Alvarez’s version is more gruesome in the mutilations and punishment meted out to the characters. It’s NOT “torture p*rn” but there isdefinitely an abundance of moments of on-screen body trauma that make me squirm in a way that really only the pencil to the ankle does in the original. I still prefer the original to the 2013 but they’re different enough that I think they stand apart. It’s one of the better horror “remake/update”s.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (52)paezdishpencer-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 5:34 pm

      Always liked the turn on the characters roles in the first Evil Dead. It’s interesting and for its time, original. Ash is almost a background character for a lot of the movie and you get the feeling he is gonna be one of the first to go, especially with Scott seemingly taking up the mantle of the hero until the third act. Ash basically is a reactionary to the entire goings on and scared out of his wits and barely able to survive the clashes…..you actually begin to root for the jackass simply for his tenacity to be put through hell and still be semi-ambulatory.I dig the later incarnations for their goofiness, but it needs to be said that ol Ash started out as a pretty regular guy just trying to survive innate horror being foisted upon him. Bruce did a good job with him.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (53)actionactioncut-av says:

      April 20, 2023 at 10:17 pm

      Jane Levy should be a way bigger star and it’scrazy that she hasn’t broken yet.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (54)coolgameguy-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Good to see Lily Sullivan getting work – she’s great on Comedy Bang Bang! Especially that Australian character she does.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (55)robgrizzly-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    I don’t think I knew what my threshold for horror was until these trailers came out. Nope nope nope! I cannot f*ck with movie.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (56)mattthewsedlar-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    The original Evil Dead is NOT a comedy AND Bruce Campbell does have a cameo in Evil Dead Rise. Do you even Evil Dead?

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (57)jhhmumbles-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    I enjoyed the 2013 movie and feel the need to point out this website gave it the exact same grade as this new movie back in the day.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (58)screwthatguy-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    This may be a potential spoiler: No, there is absolutely a Campbell cameo, albeit just an audio one. If you’re familiar with his voice, keep your ears open, it’s hard to miss.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (59)stevennorwood-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    I *love* the original (not funny) and the second one (hilarious), but man, that 2013 update felt so mean-spiritedly grotesque, it really was hard to watch (of course, I’m getting older…certain depictions of violence are not “fun” at all these days). Knowing this has some sort of humor again will likely make me give it a try, but I am ready to wince.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (60)monstachruck-av says:

    April 20, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    A lot of wieners in here saying the original Evil Dead isn’t funny. Granted, I get it wasn’t made to be intentionally funny, but yall need to lighten up.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (61)tanyasharting-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 8:09 pm

      Shut up and let people feel the way they feel.

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  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (62)thefilthywhor*-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 12:56 am

    I’d also like to argue that the first Evil Dead is not a comedy.*watches scene where Ash somehow finds another bookshelf to get trapped under*You know what? Never mind.

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    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (63)mifrochi-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 4:29 pm

      I’m kind of intrigued by the people here who see it as a grueling, straightforward horror movie. I saw it when I was about 15, and while it wasn’t a comedy (especially compared to Evil Dead 2), it’s definitely silly. And a lot of its internal logic is kind of witty.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (64)thefilthywhor*-av says:

        April 22, 2023 at 12:54 am

        Absolutely. Although I don’t think Evil Dead is a flat-out comedy either, you can’t tell me scenes like Ash’s decapitated girlfriend dry-humping him weren’t played for laughs.

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      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (65)mrfallon-av says:

        April 22, 2023 at 2:53 am

        This is far from a hot take, but the line between horror and comedy is so paper-thin anyway, and the artistic intent that informs the use of both modes in any story is so intertwined, that the question of “is a horror movie funny?” actually always struck me as kind of pointless.

        The whole thing is: you were expecting something, and then something happened. It may have been what you were expecting, or it may not have been what you were expecting. But the relationship between the expectation and the eventuality is the thing that is leveraged to make you think or feel something in both cases.

        Sometimes a scary story does it better, sometimes a funny story does it better, but they’re both methods to the same outcome:
        All horror movie premises can function as jokes because they rely on some kind of inversion or subversion of what is known or understood or expected (which is why horror is so easy to read as satire or social comment).

        All jokes can function as horror stories because they rely on the safety and comfort of what you think is true, not being true (or not being as true, or not being true in the way you thought).

        Schroedinger’s Spook Show. Evil Dead is both a comedy and not a comedy. So is Halloween. So is Psycho. So is Texas Chainsaw. etc etc etc.

        (before anyone jumps on me, I recognise this is culturally relative and there’s plenty of other cultures whose horror and humour traditions don’t function this way, and the horror/comedy line does not sit in exactly the same place in their films).

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        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (66)mifrochi-av says:

          April 25, 2023 at 4:24 pm

          That argument kind of sets aside the entire concept of a movie, though – there are narrative and aesthetic conventions that filmmakers use to indicate the tone of a scene. Those differences in aesthetic and tone make Evil Dead a very different beast from Psycho or Halloween or Texas Chainsaw Massacre – if they were all interchangeable, why even bother mentioning them? That said, I agree that the impulse to surprise the audience can shade very easily from horror into comedy, especially when there’s graphic violence involved – it turns gross slapstick if it goes far enough over the top. And I agree that it’s largely irrelevant whether a movie is intentionally comedic or not (for my money, there is some amazing slapstick violence in that Mel Gibson Jesus movie). But consensus tends to form around a particular movie, and you can point to scenes in Evil Dead – for example, the stop-motion sequence, or Ash pulling the stick out of Scotty’s belly and blood gushing out like a fountain – where the gore crosses into absurdity. I’m intrigued by people seeing the movie so differently. That’s also a stark aesthetic contrast to the intense but less gorey violence in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre – or something like Raiders of the Lost Ark, which depicts intense, horror-like violence but sets a completely different tone.

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          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (67)mrfallon-av says:

            April 25, 2023 at 9:41 pm

            I didn’t say they were interchangeable, but those aesthetic (which I’m taking to mean formal, correct me if I’m wrong) choices all rely on the audience already being literate in what those formal choices do: that’s how you build a relationship with your audience, by establishing expectations.My point is more that if the premise of a story, or the core of a dramatic conflict, involves a subverted expectation, then you are by definition showing something that can be written as a joke or a horror story. That’s certainly true of all the examples I gave, and they’re all films which tread the line and acknowledge the funny side at various points, but only some people read these moments as so jokey that they break the spell.Its less about being interchangeable and more about being innately intertwined.

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (68)lugnuts22-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 6:41 am

    Evil Dead Rise, not Rises, but I quibble. And I think the original is my second favorite horror flick of all time, after The Exorcist. It’s brutal and gory as hell and wicked as f*** and the remake sucked. The new one is gonna suck too. Yeah yeah yeah I love an insanely over the top splatterfest as much as the next gorehound but this one just looks like it’s trying too hard to be cutesy-horror. I will watch it online just for the splatter.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (69)mrfallon-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 10:00 am

    It can be argued that 1981’s The Evil Dead, made on a shoestring budget when director Sam Raimi was barely 21, kicked off the 1980s boom in horror comedy, which would include Ghostbusters, Return Of The Living Dead, Re-Animator, The Stuff, Beetlejuice, Gremlins, and (in the early ’90s) Peter Jackson’s wonderful breakthrough film, Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive)…That is an absolutely insane argument. If it ‘can be argued’, you sure as hell didn’t argue it, and I’d love to see you try.
    You can’t just group things together and then say that because you’ve chosen to group them together, that’s an argument for a causal relationship.I’m not touching on the ‘comedy’ comment that others have – that’s actually the least weird suggestion, because a lot of people read the first film as a comedy, even if it doesn’t have a comedic tone baked in.I think that you could have done all of 5 minutes of research and you would have realised how unsound the argument that Evil Dead kicked off any sort of boom is. It’s influence on most of those films is pretty minimal, if present at all. I’ll grant you Dead Alive as the only one of those that probably wouldn’t have existed without Evil Dead.
    Aside from that, absolutely baffling.
    It’s also heartbreaking to me to think that we’re at the point in cinema history where “the 80s” is to young people what “the 40s” was to many people my age: it’s all just an amorphous blob of ‘the past’, rather than specific films made under specific circ*mstances, with varying relationships between them.
    I know I sound like a fusty old guy but cinema history is important, man.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (70)terranigma-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    Ticked the boring “oh so strong women” box PLUS totally cringe CGI… no thanks. Welcome to the golden raspberry awards

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (71)moggett-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Bruce Campbell did voice work for this movie. That’s not a cameo but it was nice he was included.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (72)cryptid-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    The Evil Dead also had a direct influence on a whole string of Hong Kong films, some involving hopping vampires and others more directly borrowing Raimi’s high-speed tracking shots and tree demons.The influence of Evil Dead on Chinese Ghost Story seems hard to deny, especially once the camera starts swooping through the woods, in what must be the only Giant Tongue POV shots in all of the cinema (excepting the sequels). Arguably, producer Tsui Hark was already showing off horror imagery and wild camera movement in Butterly Murders (1979)and We’re Going to Eat You (1980), but neither of those movies is as Raimi-like as the Chinese Ghost Story series.I’m not as sold on the Mr. Vampire connection, but it would be cool if there was an interview to clinch it. Is there?Meanwhile, there’s another reason that these movies look alike: segment shooting. John Woo uses repeated camera positions in a western style, but many other HK directors (including Tsui and Ching Siu-Tung) tend to move fluidly from position to position with no master shot. Raimi has pointed out that Evil Dead didn’t use master shots because he was trying to save money on film, so in effect it’s HK-style segment shooting.

    Reply

    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (73)mrfallon-av says:

      April 21, 2023 at 11:47 pm

      This is a marvelous comment. And yes, Chinese Ghost Story seems to be the only one in which there is an overt link. The others are more like an incidental overlap.An additional observation to support yours is that as HK cinema progressed into the 90s, and there was a more deliberate push from financiers to compete with Hollywood (as a result of the interest in HK genre cinema on the festival circuit, and the fact that your Woos and your Lams and your Harks are all getting Hollywood offers themselves), you do see the films resemble the Hollywood Classical style more directly. Part of it is increased budgets and longer shooting schedules, and part of it is a genuine attempt to position this stuff alongside Hollywood, but once the time and money is afforded, a lot of these directors became more idiosyncratic and individualised. You start to see master shots become parto f the coverage and you start to see shot composition become more expressionist.So yeah, with one exception I think that the resemblance to Evil Dead is circ*mstantial, because it decreases as the resources increase.Another more obvious point to make is that if these HK films were lifting from Evil Dead, generally speaking they’d likely be far more overt and direct in their imitation, haha. We’d have had Anthony Wong in an exact copy of Bruce Campbell’s outfit or something, if it was deliberate!

      Reply

      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (74)cryptid-av says:

        April 22, 2023 at 4:07 am

        Another more obvious point to make is that if these HK films were lifting from Evil Dead, generally speaking they’d likely be far more overt and direct in their imitation, haha. We’d have had Anthony Wong in an exact copy of Bruce Campbell’s outfit or something, if it was deliberate!Absolutely! HK movies were never shy about their sources. Whether out of shamelessness or playfulness or both, the imitation is as blatant as can be.And, god, I’d love to see Anthony Wong play that part, particularly in the part of his career that gave us Running Out of Time, when the youthful smirk of his Hardboiled villain was turning into something more world-weary and wry. I can see him shake his head, ever so slightly, with a look that says don’t you see I just sat down, when yet another deceased loved one needs to be chainsawed into submission. It was a shame to see Johnnie To’s output slow down in part because it meant that I could no longer watch Anthony Wong age one film at a time into Hong Kong’s answer to Bogart (in the same way that Chow Yun-Fat was always its Cary Grant).

        Reply

        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (75)mrfallon-av says:

          April 23, 2023 at 1:43 am

          And, god, I’d love to see Anthony Wong play that part, particularly in the part of his career that gave us Running Out of Time, when the youthful smirk of his Hardboiled villain was turning into something more world-weary and wry. I can see him shake his head, ever so slightly, with a look that says don’t you see I just sat down, when yet another deceased loved one needs to be chainsawed into submission.

          That’s poetry. You’re a marvelous writer, and this is so well-observed.

          Reply

          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (76)cryptid-av says:

            April 23, 2023 at 4:15 am

            That’s poetry. You’re a marvelous writer, and this is so well-observed.I appreciate that, although I f*cked up. I meant The Mission, the other great Johnnie To crime movie from 1999. Running Out of Time is Lau Ching-Wan in a role that might have gone to Anthony Wong in another timeline, but not in ours. I stand by the spirit of the post, but what a galling mistake.

          • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (77)mrfallon-av says:

            April 23, 2023 at 4:28 am

            I actually noticed that but couldn’t bring myself to point it out, the broader spirit of the observation very much stands

    • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (78)captainbubb-av says:

      April 24, 2023 at 6:52 pm

      Wow, did not expect to find such thoughtful discussion of HK cinema in the comments section of the review ofEvil Dead Rise. Makes me feel like the AV Club of old is not completely dead. :’)

      Reply

      • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (79)cryptid-av says:

        April 24, 2023 at 7:02 pm

        Wow, did not expect to find such thoughtful discussion of HK cinema in the comments section of the review of Evil Dead Rise. Makes me feel like the AV Club of old is not completely dead. :’)Things are slower around here than they once were, but I feel like good threads aren’t all that hard to come by. Some of the old guard are still hanging around io9 too, although that place has suffered an even more shocking decline than the AV Club. You used to find all sorts of great book reviews and comics interviews over there, but now it’s mostly paraphrased press releases from some arm of the Disney corporation.

        Reply

        • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (80)captainbubb-av says:

          April 24, 2023 at 7:54 pm

          There is lively discussion of films in this comments section and the one about the best 80s horror movies, but there are way fewer posts that prompt these discussions than in the glory days. While I don’t mind the discussion of current cultural/social issues and appreciate that the people here are fairly reasonable, I wish there was more of a balance. It also feels like we’re often having the same conversations over and over so sometimesit’s a Sisyphean task to engage.

          Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (81)tollysdevlin-av says:

    April 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    I believe that Sam Raimi who was influenced by those Hong Kong films rather than the way you describe it. One of our more astute movie critics here in Chicago at that time made note of the Hong Kong influence, particularly, of the work of Tsui Hark.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (82)ohnoray-av says:

    April 22, 2023 at 3:08 am

    my theatre was packed and it was a tense viewing, it was very scary but still a lot of fun. One of the better horrors out in the last few years imo.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (83)mrfallon-av says:

    April 23, 2023 at 1:35 am

    I watched the new film last night and, like a lot of the reprobates here, I’m a long-time fan of the original film, and the original two sequels (for different reasons).

    I gotta tell you, this new film is the best bit of new Evil Dead content since then.

    I didn’t like the remake, and I think the new film suffers one of the same flaws as the remake (I won’t spoil anything but I’ll leave it for the end of this post).
    But overall, this movie does what I want an Evil Dead film to do: it feels most closely aligned to the original film but it does lift those aspects of the sequels that the tone is able to support.
    Fundamentally it gets the beats right, and to me, one key trick a good Evil Dead film (or any good American horror film) plays is to tell the story so that the threat of trauma posed to the characters by the antagonist, runs parallel to the threat of trauma posed to the audience by the film. That’s why the first film doesn’t work for everyone, and why some people find the comedy as being more intrusive than complimentary to the horror: it can seem just a smidge too self-aware, to some sensibilities.
    This new film balances that stuff really effectively, and for the most part, the pace and tone is really skilfully maintained. Everyone’s threshold lies in a slightly different place though, so there will still be people who feel that the balance isn’t right. All’s I can say is that I think it balances it at least as well as the first film.
    The flaw I mentioned is that, like the remake, the climax is a bit, er ‘anticlimactic’. The film has done so much to torment the audience by that point, and the monsters have pulled so many tricks out of the bag to do the same to the characters, that the final fight sequence feels like less than what came before it: The Evil Dead have launched a full assault on the characters from all fronts up: physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological, so when the final form is just “a disgusting thing that chases you” it feels like less of a challenge than what we and the characters have already overcome. I seem to recall the remake had the same issue, with the climax being a kind of slasher-villain chase sequence? I could be misremembering as I only saw it once, but I do remember being left with that impression.
    The new film gets away with it by just maintaining the ‘gruelling terror’ of it all, but in terms of what’s actually happening onscreen, you kind of feel like the physical mechanics of escaping it are less difficult than some of the other things that have happened.

    ANYWAY, Evil Dead is back. I would really like it if the next one forms its own identity, rather than doing more of this, though. I don’t necessarily want to see the surviving characters back again, and I really don’t want to see the movies get bloated with lore. I just want more Books Of The Dead, new melodrama, new setpieces, and the same carefully sustained pace and tone. This film does have a wraparound ‘cabin in the woods’ story, so maybe we could get one more film out of that location, but this film ultimately proves that Evil Dead is capable of moving forward, and should do so, rather than, ahem, cannibalizing itself.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (84)minsk-if-you-wanna-go-all-the-way-back-av says:

    April 23, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    But for fans of the franchise, Evil Dead Rises marks a welcome return to the seamless blend of humor and genuine scares and creepiness that Raimi created 42 years ago.Evil Dead Rises opens in theaters nationwide on April 21You might want to get the name of the movie right.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (85)joshuanite-av says:

    April 24, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    For me it was a C+, not as balls-out as the 2013 remake-quel. Every single scene that might surprise you or make you flinch is in the trailer, which means this story could have been told in 3 minutes. I didn’t think it seamlessly blended humor and horror, either–it half-assed both and didn’t ever settle on a cohesive tone. I had a good time with it in the theater, but I won’t be seeking it out for a rewatch. It made me want to watch 2013 again.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (86)jackstark211-av says:

    April 25, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    Saw it Saturday and had a blast. I don’t think it was funny though.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (87)ourmon-av says:

    May 3, 2023 at 11:46 pm

    >Brain Dead (aka Dead Alive) which could be considered the best of the lot Yeah as much as I like “Dead Alive”, “Evil Dead 2″ sh*ts all over it on just about every level. That was an unneeded reach lol.

    Reply

  • Evil Dead Rise review: A return to bloody good fun for the demonic franchise (88)nekromar-av says:

    May 6, 2023 at 6:21 am

    I think the movie is a fantastic addition to the franchise. It’s probably my favorite one. I grew up with the old ones and watched the show and saw the remake. I liked the nods to other classic horror movies. This felt like a classic horror movie if that makes sense. While I don’t think they did much “new” I guess, I do think it’s more than the sum of its parts. This is the best horror film I’ve seen in ages. It’s got all the tropes, and I love the way they delivered it. There was no part in the movie that I called b.s. on. Nothing like Halloween kills (which was garbage) or malignant (which was ok but some parts, logic and delivery wise,I was disappointed in);I’m usually a very critical movie go’er. The character development was quick and easy to relate to these people as regular people and in general “good guys”. The whole thing was intense.

    Reply

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