EVIL DEAD RISE or NATUROM DUMB-MONTO *AKA* Another pretty, dumb thing…
Release Date 21Apr2023
This movie is not good, not unwatchable... but not good.
Evil Dead Rise is the 5th feature film in the EVIL DEAD franchise, created by Producer and Director SAM RAIMI from his short film and proof of concept WITHIN THE WOODS in 1978.
Starting with the first (EVIL DEAD) in 1981 with an ensemble cast and "final boy" BRUCE CAMPBELL, and then EVIL DEAD 2 in '87 with a beginning that retcons the first movie (with Bruce Campbell alone returning), followed by 1992's ARMY OF DARKNESS which finds Campbell's ASH WILLIAMS thrown back in time into a dark ages cartoon. More recently we got a gruesome but uninspired "re-imagining" in 2013 directed by FEDE ALVAREZ, and a comedy-horror television series running from 2015 to 2018 that brings back Campbell and Raimi, and finally this film directed by LEE CRONIN.
The general skinny of any of them is some knuckleheads hanging out in the woods (occasionally castles and trailer parks) find a book (NATUROM DEMONTO or NECRONOMICON EX MORTIS) somewhere, bound in human skin and inked in blood, play a recording of translated incantations lying adjacent... then bloody f#ckery happens!
This movie is no different, except that the setting is a soon to be demolished apartment building in LA, where single mom ELLIE and her three child character archetypes are visited by her wayward guitar tech sister BETH - who done gone and caught herself "The Pregs". The book is found, the recordings played, the requisite f#ckery occurs.
Nearly all of the technical details of this movie are SUPERB. This is certainly the most polished the ED movies have ever looked. The cinematography (bringing back the inventive, spastic camerawork this series is known for under Raimi), the makeup effects, VFX, SOUND DESIGN - all on point. Kudos to all involved with a superb A/V presentation. Aussie actress ALICIA SUTHERLAND as the mom is the one standout performance of the picture, diving into the physical performance of her character with genuine gusto.
It is very important, especially when everyone and their mammy wants to wank out a horror film these days, that your characters have enough dimension and relatability to connect with your audience. With the exception of Ellie, you don't give a frog's balls about anyone in this movie - they just exist to be charcuterie. The script is trash, lazily stringing together events and people in a sloppy line to the woodchipper - sharting out it's dim-witted elffluvia to the end.
If you're a gorehound looking for some inventive gibs and NOTHING ELSE. Also, if your interpretation of being "A fan" means supping any turd branded with your favorite franchise, bereft of any critical faculty. If you must... STREAM HO!!!!
DON'T SEE IT:
You could pass this one up and not miss anything. Besides, summer is here! Time to get that sphinc' bleached.