Evil Dead Rise gets high praise at SXSW Film Festival

Evil Dead Rise, Warner Bros. Production released April 21, 2023
Evil Dead Rise, Warner Bros. Production released April 21, 2023 /

By now, nearly every horror fan out there knows that Evil Dead Rise is set to premiere in theaters everywhere in April. It was a huge hit at SXSW on March 15, and those who were able to see it proclaimed it to be just as gory and sickly hilarious as its predecessors.

It’s been a long road for Evil Dead Rise, which was first mentioned at the SXSW premiere of Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake in 2013. The project was off and on for some time, but Sam Raimi finally announced at New York Comic Con 2019 that the sequel was finally in the works. When New Line Cinema acquired the rights, the plan was to release Evil Dead Rise on HBO Max.

Warner Bros. changed their minds on the straight-to-streaming idea, and announced that the new film would now be released theatrically instead. That’s a good sign that those in power believe people are finally comfortable returning to theaters after the pandemic.

Instead of Fede Alvarez, Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) took on the writing and directing for Evil Dead Rise. Having seen The Hole in the Ground, I think Cronin is a good fit for the new film.

Evil Dead Rise
Evil Dead Rise, Warner Bros. Production released April 21, 2023 /

The principal photography for Evil Dead Rise took place in New Zealand, where it was filmed in 2021. This time around, Bruce Campbell’s Ash is nowhere in sight (not a big surprise, since he was not in The Evil Dead remake either). Instead, we are introduced to Beth, who is paying a visit to her big sister Ellie, struggling to raise her three children in a small L.A. apartment. As if that’s not bad enough, it turns out the Necronomicon is housed in the basement of the place. You can see where this is going, right?

When Ellie transforms, all slimy hell breaks loose in the apartment building, and the body count (and gore) increase with her every step. Lily Sullivan appears as Beth and Alyssa Sutherland plays the possessed Ellie.

If the trailer is any indication, Evil Dead Rise is going to give fans exactly what they want from an Evil Dead film. Sutherland looks to give a super-creepy, very physical performance as Ellie, and those kids are not only in peril, they are cute as buttons. Also, take a look at the weapons that are used to wreak bloody havoc: we get shards of jagged glass, a cheese grater and of course…a chainsaw.

Evil Dead Rise will make its debut only in theaters on April 21. In the meantime, take a gander at the Redband trailer.

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Are you excited about the trailer for Evil Dead Rise? Tell us about your love for all things Evil Dead in the comments section.