I want to take a second of two to talk about the state of remakes these days. At the same time, I think also maybe touch on why it upsets a group of people. Sometimes it is even designed to upset its fan base, like that dreadful Velma series.
You take the idea of something like Evil Dead, and you do everything you loved about that movie, but it isn’t Evil Dead, it’s this own thing. And it just happens to end up great. For example, Deadstream.
But most are too scared to so something like Deadstream, so what do we get? We get a remake like Evil Dead Rise. In some cases, this being the better scenario, writers/directors are plagued by wanting to stay faithful to the original adaptation, however they want to leave their own mark on it.
How do you do that? Well, the easiest way is either gender or race swap a character. Shoehorning them in where they otherwise wouldn’t be. Example being that terrible Rings of Power series Amazon wasted a billion dollars on.
You want to do your remake, but you want a diverse cast, that’s hard to do with remakes, as things are set in stone. Which is why you see your favorite films getting remade, but instead of a white mermaid, we get a black one, upsetting the fan base you’re making this for in the first place.
Not even animated movies are safe from this, case in point the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
If it was a completely new IP about black mermaids, no one would give a shit, right? But it’s a remake of a classic and since it’s a remake the roles for diversity are very limited, therefore black Ariel or another more accurate example that better relates to the new Evil Dead film, the 2016 Ghostbusters remake, which everyone hated for a multitude of reasons. And yes, one of those reasons being the all-female cast.
For Evil Dead, we already had a remake back in 2013. It wasn’t bad, at least not as bad as I feared it would be.
It had some good moments here and there. It didn’t skimp on the gore either, even relied a lot on the practical side of things as opposed to using CGI.
But a female lead did take center stage with it. Or eventually did, as it was looking like the nerdy dude was our Ash substitute and I was kind of onboard with it. He seemed very unlikely to be our lead. But then again, so was Ash in the first film. If you remember, his friend was looking to be our badass lead until he kicked the bucket.
Now we are back with another remake, but they already did the whole female lead thing. So where do you go from there? I guess their brilliant idea was to this time give it an all-female cast. Just like Ghostbusters. And we all saw how well that worked out for them.
And by the four people in my theater who saw it, I’m guessing it will do just as poorly.
So we’re remaking Evil Dead, we won’t connect it to any of the other sequels, but we’ll do everything that happens in the first film, but with all ladies and set in an apartment complex. That’s original!
Except that’s already been done. Evil Dead in an apartment complex? That’s [REC]. A franchise with like 4 or so sequels. That concept isn’t new either.
See what I mean, you take something that inspired you, you get something great like [REC], but you do a remake, and you get something subpar like Evil Dead Rise, which is a terrible title by the way.
Our cast is mainly all women, most of them kids or teens. That begs another question, is this something they think Evil Dead fans care to see in Evil Dead? Evil Dead meets Stranger Things? They think that’s what fans have been asking for?
They know what fans want; they want Bruce Campbell. It’s very clear that this is a franchise that can’t go on without him either. Or at least an Ash like character. The films seem to lose something without that extra panache Campbell brings.
And it’s like they are too afraid to even try to replace him, so we get these weak substitutes, that I guess we are meant to root for, but honestly, I couldn’t care less about any of these characters.
I think the only name I remember in this is the trans character’s name only because their sister repeats it like 30 times in various iterations. Dan, Danny, Daniel.
Every single sentence she says ends with the character’s name. Writing tip, don’t do that. And it’s only this character they do it with too. I’m puzzled as to why.
There’s a lot of strange things like that in this film. For example, the youngest daughter. At times she talks very normal. Like a dumb kid. But normal. However, at other times she has this uwu voice whenever she says words. It’s like in between scenes she developed an uwu speech impediment.
I blame TikTok.
The other sister, the short hair feminist sister is just that, a stock feminist, that’s all there is to her character. I swear I saw a poster on her door that said “Feminism is Female”. If true, that’s hilarious. It reminded me of that Force is Female campaign Kathleen Kennedy did for Star Wars.
Or Girls Get it Done from The Boys.
As for our “lead”? She’s just groupie. That’s it. They even make it this running gag where she hates being called a groupie. It got so eye rolling I had to audibly scoff like this was what they thought would get the audience laughing and rolling in the aisles.
They do that a lot in this film as well. You can tell when they think a scene will get the audience fist pumping in excitement or laughing, or frightened. The only thing is none of that is ever properly pulled off, which just makes everything slightly cringy when it happens.
They’d recreate scenes or badass moments you’d see Ash doing and I guess they thought it would have the same effect. Spoilers, it does not.
The film even starts out with that one-day earlier thing that I’ve basically grown to hate in films. When I saw that there actually was cabin stuff, I thought oh so people are going to find the book of the dead there, then bring it to the apartment complex.
Nope, instead we get maybe the dumbest way possible, by having an earthquake happen and the floor in the parking garage cracks open, revealing an old bank vault.
I know they explained it in some throwaway dialogue, but an underground bank vault? And it just happens to contain the book and various recordings?
So, the film starts off at the lake, near a cabin. Not THE cabin, but a cabin. That is shaped like the church in Mandy, this odd perfect triangle.
Someone in the group is sick, their sister goes to check on them but she’s a deadite. We see some CGI killing and then we’re hit with the title sequence, which wasn’t bad the way it was framed as it rises in the skyline.
Still think the title sucks though.
I heard they were making this remake for a while, but it was set to be an HBOMAX original, much like Prey was for Hulu.
But HBOMAX is going through some changes, and the project looked dead. I guess they saw potential in it and decided to release it in theaters instead.
After the one-day earlier thing, we meet our bland lead… should I bother with names? Can I get away with just nicknames?
Let’s call our lead “groupie” since that’s all her character really is. No, scratch that, she’s pregnant groupie now.
She learns she’s knocked up and goes to visit her sister in… I guess LA because of the quake.
Her sister we’ll just call deadite mom and her kids… first the youngest uwu girl, she’s obsessed with ghosts and has a special stick to protect herself with.
Then there’s feminist, who is just feminist. She’s upset her favorite plain black shirt isn’t clean to wear to some protest.
And then there’s Danny, Dan, Daniel who I’m not sure in the film is meant to be trans, just the actor is. They try to stay away from lingering too long on older photos of them as a family, I’m thinking mainly because of that reason.
But Danny, Dan, Daniel is a DJ, I’m guessing just so they’d have a way to play the old records they find later in the vault.
Aside from the old guy across the hall and the boys next door, that about does it for our characters. I think the only reason the old guy is in this is to have a way to include a shotgun because Ash had a shotgun.
You know what this film reminds me of? It wasn’t Evil Dead, but [REC] 3: Genesis. I think because the leads look so similar. They even use the same chainsaw at the end too.
Soon to be Deadite mom sends the kids to get pizza, that’s when the quake happens, opening up a hole in the parking garage.
Danny, Dan, Daniel jumps down to investigate, hoping to find something valuable. I forgot to mention I think maybe the building is being condemned or maybe Deadite mom can’t afford to live there now that her husband left her.
But they are in the middle of a move. It would make more sense if the occupants were being evicted, to help explain why there only seems to be like 4 other people living on their floor.
Instead of cash Danny, Dan, Daniel finds a bunch of religious stuff and the book of the dead. With it, a couple of recordings on old vinyl.
While Danny, Dan, Daniel plays the records, uwu is getting ready for a bath. Feminist is just making protest signs because what else would her “character” be doing. I think and deadite mom is walking to the elevator to do laundry.
That’s when the priest on the recordings starts reading from the book, calling on the demons.
Recreating the scene from the original film, with the tree vines, we get deadite mom attacked by cables in the elevator. And she officially becomes deadite mom.
Deadite mom comes home and makes the kids some breakfast with some room temp eggs. I guess some eggs you don’t have to refrigerate, but if half of them is filled with blood, no thanks. I’ll stick to my bleached carton of eggs you keep in the fridge, thank you very much.
Then she pukes and seemingly dies.
The stairs, much like the bridge from the original film have been destroyed. And the elevator isn’t working.
I’m not sure why at this point they don’t just call the police with their many cellphones they own and have been seen using. I think at the end when we wrap back around to the cabin stuff, they might have mentioned the earthquake knocked out cell towers, but I don’t remember anyone mentioning that when they needed to leave the building for help.
They talked about going out the fire escapes, but that’s about it. But don’t worry, deadite mom makes a full recovery, but seems to be overheating so they carry her to the tub uwu was going to take her bath.
This rejuvenates deadite mom, causing her to get her dead on, attacking groupie and feminist.
Groupie gets a piece of glass through the hand, while feminist gets a little face tattoo. And somehow this infects her? I’m not really sure why she changes, but she eventually also ends up as a deadite.
Next door neighbor dude fights off deadite mom, taking her out of the apartment and into the hallway, where she not only kills him but everyone else.
They added this really dumb thing where she plucks his eye out and makes another person choke on it. Not by forcing it in his mouth but tossing it across the room into his mouth.
I can only assume their attempt at trying for humor?
Aside from uwu girl, there hasn’t been any attempts at anything humorous in this. So it felt really out of place.
After that, nothing really happens for a bit. Not until feminist turns into a deadite. Then mom deadite breaks in through the vents.
I believe Danny, Dan, Daniel is next to go, leaving just groupie and uwu left.
The deadites then do this weird thing, where they graft themselves to deadite mom, making this Elden Ring looking boss. Think meatball with arms.
Groupie and uwu escape into the elevator, even though they know it isn’t working. Even worse than that, it starts to fill with blood, reaching the weight limit, knocking them down to the parking garage.
Groupie and uwu make it to the car but get stopped by meatball where they have to escape by foot.
Groupie actually manages to get free but uwu gets taken and is about to be grafted into the meatball family when groupie shows up with a chainsaw and a woodchipper.
That’s when the story wraps around and we meet the character from the start of the movie at the cabin.
Okay, so what are my thoughts on this movie?
It was just OK. I didn’t find it very memorable; the characters are more or less stock characters with paper thin personalities. They might as well not of even had names.
The gore was fine. It seemed very CGI to me. After seeing something like Terrifier 2, you need to amp up your game, guys.
During the cheese grater scene, make the feminist deadite eat the flesh strands, Art the Clown would!
A lot of the dialogue was bad, especially the stuff coming from the uwu daughter. The attempts at humor felt misplaced, since they seem to go hard on the seriousness of it.
When deadite mom is in the hallway, slaughtering everyone (all 4 other people who live on that floor, I guess) we see it only from the perspective of the peephole in her door.
A lot of what happens is mostly off camera, only getting the aftermath. One of the kids gets his arms torn off. I think. They didn’t linger on it and only showed it from far away.
Speaking of the dead, everyone in the hallway also became deadites, so what happened to them? At the end of the movie are they just still up there waiting to be discovered? Were they grafted into the meatball as well?
I know the director has plans for more, but if this is as good as he has in him, let’s maybe find someone else with a better vision.
I get that Bruce Campbell is done playing the character, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find someone to step in his shoes.
Take Max Max: Fury Road, they didn’t replace him with a girl, they just had him team up with a girl who happened to be just as badass.
This can be done right; they just seem too afraid to try.
Until they get some, maybe some pun intended, until they get some balls, this franchise is kind of on its last legs.
I’ll give Evil Dead Rise a RENT. It seemed to be made for a streaming service and that’s probably where you should watch it.
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.