Unpossessed characters’ performances are just decent at best
Forget building upon them, simply living up to any of Sam Raimi’s works is no easy task, and writer-director Lee Cronin—the latest voice in horror—does both with unwavering conviction in Evil Dead Rise.
The fifth instalment of the Evil Dead franchise is excruciatingly, bloodily and ferociously beautiful. Despite predictable story beats, its bone-chilling ambience firmly prevails throughout its runtime, owing to some neat direction and creepy-as-hell performances.
Lily Sullivan is adequate at playing the lead protagonist escaping the terror of her possessed sister (played by Alyssa Sutherland), who tops the creepy performances chart…to the point where she made a comeback in my dream last night (really shouldn’t have watched this in the evening). Talk about perfect casting.
The set design too, which may go unnoticed, deserves much credit. From a logical perspective, Cronin’s decision to set Rise in a rundown LA apartment is commendable. Faulty elevators, age-old garage doors and a damaged building serve as pre-existing setbacks for the protagonists—a smart move, considering that most helpful things in thriller movies coincidentally malfunction during a grand escape.
And as a relative newcomer, Cronin has fresh ideas for fright. Yes, you do have your mandatory jump scares, but his finest creeps leverage the domestic environment birthed from his rundown set design. Any appliance available in a house can and will be creatively transformed into a gruesome torture device. All I’m saying is…you’ll never see your frying pan and cheese grater the same way again.
For those sceptical about Sam Raimi’s directorial absence, fret not. As executive producer, Raimi’s signature eerie touch still marks his presence, while also paving the way for Cronin and team to make something of their own.
You don’t have to wait till October 31st for a haunting cinematic experience. You can scare yourself today, as Evil Dead Rise is now in theatres creeping folks out as we speak!