It’s like if Saw got an extra dose of gore and had a baby with the campy stylings of 80’s horror movies.
Wow, yeah. Uh… this movie made my stomach churn. Before I get into the blood-soaked weeds, a bit of context. First, I went into this movie with only the original two cult classic films as a reference of what to expect from this new entry in the Evil Dead franchise. Yeah, they were gory, with blood all over the place, but something about that era of horror movies never felt so gross that I would feel that kind of sick taste in my mouth or the discomfort in my stomach. It was also super goofy, which with an actor like Bruce Campbell, it’s hard not to laugh at even the serious situations with his facial deliveries. All of this to say, Evil Dead Rise, reminded me too much of the last third of the 2022 movie Men. For those who haven’t seen Men, it’s a movie I will never watch again because it took that nasty feeling I described and dialed it as high as it could go where after leaving the theater, I wanted to watch the most wholesome cartoons I could find to feel clean inside.
Evil Dead Rise isn’t that level of extreme, but it dives into that direction of horror. Its body horror just takes it too far, and being a modern movie it’s a lot harder to digest because it looks a lot more believable. So, for me this movie no matter how good the full package is, it will lose points. For those who are not bothered in the slightest by this description then this movie would probably get a full point higher of a score, so enjoy!
The aspects that keep this movie from turning into that Men situation comes from a story that is easier to follow and has a conclusion that made me feel I at least had someone to root for without the feeling of ickiness attached to it. It also still has that goofiness that the original Evil Deads have if not a tad cruder. It keeps things from becoming depressing on top of horrifying which in my book will never win me over. This movie also has a scene involving a peephole of a door and a hallway that did a great job of balancing the super gore horror with the goofiness, and just the right amount of hiding things that felt like the best recipe of tone and visuals for me.
In the end this movie is a lot to take in. Body horror is my least favorite kind of horror subgenre, and this movie leans into that to a major way that made it hard for me to enjoy it. That said I can recognize that for fans of this style of movie, they will have a good time. The movie has a solid cast, and some goofy charm that makes the movie have an entertaining factor instead of what could have easily been a depressing dark tone on top of the disturbing blood and guts flying everywhere on the screen. This will be the one and only time I’ll watch this movie, but maybe for others this will join in that cult classic status of the originals that inspired it.