Evil Dead Rise: Explained: Lily Sullivan’s Demonic Delight

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series is an undeniable outlier in horror franchises. This iconic series, known for its unique blend of gory horror and dark humor, has managed to captivate audiences for over four decades. With each installment, it has consistently delivered the thrills and chills that have become synonymous with the name Evil Dead. Even when the franchise transitioned to television with Ash vs Evil Dead, it remained faithful to the spirit of its cinematic predecessors. Now, with the latest addition to this beloved franchise, Evil Dead Rise, fans have eagerly anticipated whether it would live up to the high standards set by its forerunners. The great news is that it meets these expectations and exceeds them in every imaginable way. This movie is a gruesome and hilarious rollercoaster ride that demands to be watched with friends, preferably in a cabin deep within the woods, far from civilization. While the story itself unfolds in an apartment building, the circumstances soon lead to a sinister, tension-filled scenario.

Evil Dead Rise: What is it about?

Evil Dead Rise introduces us to Beth, a young roadie played by Lily Sullivan. Facing an unexpected pregnancy, Beth visits her sister Ellie, portrayed by Alyssa Sutherland, who is a single mother of three children: Danny, Bridget, and Kassie. Things take a horrifying turn when an earthquake disrupts the city and unearths the cursed Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. Despite the initial contrivances in the setup, once the evil tome unleashes its Deadite horrors, viewers are plunged into a relentless whirlwind of gore and terror.

What sets Evil Dead Rise apart is its ability to capture the essence of the Evil Dead universe without the iconic presence of Bruce Campbell’s middle-aged, wisecracking Ash Williams. Director Lee Cronin masterfully emulates the frantic, over-the-top, and humor-infused style that is the hallmark of this franchise. The film’s pacing, featuring a gradual build-up of tension culminating in a frenzied climax, aligns perfectly with the established formula of an Evil Dead movie.

The film whizzes by at just under 100 minutes, with each scene enhancing the terror and suspense. Cronin seamlessly integrates dark humor and wit, ensuring that fans of the series will be treated to the signature blend of gore and comedy they’ve come to love. In the true spirit of the franchise, Evil Dead Rise delivers an array of impressive practical effects, favoring traditional techniques over CGI.

Alyssa Sutherland’s portrayal of a Deadite is nothing short of terrifying. Her character radiates an eerie menace and otherworldly possession, making her both frightening and utterly captivating. Lily Sullivan and the child actors offer strong performances, contributing to the film’s success.

Lily Sullivan Discusses Her Entry into the Horror Genre

While stepping into the realm of horror with Evil Dead Rise, Lily Sullivan shares her insights into the experience. As a relatively new face in the horror genre, what aspects posed challenges and turned out to be surprisingly manageable?

Sullivan reflects on her journey: “The process had its challenges. Initially, it seemed daunting to immerse myself in the world of horror. An Evil Dead movie’s unique demands can be overwhelming, given its relentless pace and the need for a seamless performance. Unlike other genres, there’s no respite in a horror story, no ‘normal’ moments or tea breaks. It’s a continuous rollercoaster ride, and this intensity was something I had to adapt to.”

She acknowledges that her initial apprehensions eventually transformed into valuable experiences. “What I initially found to be the most challenging,” Sullivan explains, “ultimately became a part of the learning process. There was no other way to understand the horror genre than by diving into it headfirst. Embracing an Evil Dead horror movie, with its relentless nature and the need for complete immersion, proved to be both the toughest and most rewarding aspect of the experience. It served as the perfect introduction, albeit an intense one.”

Sullivan delves into her process further: “The primary challenge was to portray the fight-or-flight horror fear authentically. Initially, I tried to approach it intellectually and emotionally, but this only took me so far. What truly helped was focusing on bodywork and breath control, similar to the precision of dance. It involved releasing primal screams, even alongside the nine-year-old Nell, to build up the energy needed for the scene, ensuring she didn’t succumb to panic or tears. It’s a process where the body has its own rhythms; sometimes, it’s all about laughter. Even when there was nothing to laugh about, we’d share fits of laughter to release pent-up energy from the intense scenes.”

Evil Dead Rise undoubtedly earns its place within this esteemed franchise. It flawlessly delivers all the elements that fans have come to expect – copious gore, spine-tingling scares, and the dark humor that sets Evil Dead apart. While it does require viewers to suspend disbelief regarding a few plot contrivances, it proves to be an exhilarating and worthy addition to the series. So, gather your friends, prepare for a blood-soaked and laughter-filled experience, and dive into the gruesome world of Evil Dead Rise.

Now for some spoilers!

Evil Dead Rise: Plot Explained: Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens At The End?

The ending of Evil Dead Rise showcases a significant twist within the franchise. Here’s a breakdown of key events toward the end of the movie:

Kassie survives the harrowing events, breaking a fatal curse that Ash Williams has lived with since 1981. On the other hand, Beth has undergone a harsh and rapid initiation into parenthood. Both she and her unborn child survive the onslaught. 

After eliminating all the Deadites, Beth manages to escape the building, taking Kassie. The movie insinuates that Beth is now a mother of two: her baby and Kassie, who is orphaned​​.

As the movie nears its conclusion, the bodies of all deceased individuals, including Ellie, Danny, Bridget, and all the neighbors, amalgamate and start pursuing Kassie and Beth, who are trying to flee the building. 

Beth defeats this evil entity, or at least she believes she has, by pushing it inside a scrap grinder machine.

What Is The Demon In Evil Dead Rise?

The demon in Evil Dead Rise is a malevolent force that possesses individuals, leading to the creation of Deadites—evil, violent versions of the possessed individuals. The demon’s influence is central to the horrifying events in the movie, continuing the theme of demonic possession from the earlier entries in the “Evil Dead” franchise.

What Happens To The Cat In Evil Dead Rise?

In Evil Dead Rise, a cat belonging to Mr. Fonda attempts to escape the haunted apartment building by climbing through the vents. Initially, it’s presumed that the Deadite version of Ellie might have killed the cat while in the vent, especially as the cat isn’t seen again in the movie. 

However, it’s later revealed that the cat managed to escape unharmed. This revelation came from the director of Evil Dead Rise, Lee Cronin, in an interview with GamesRadar+. Cronin confirmed that the cat made it out of the apartment building alive.

What Happened To The Mom?

In Evil Dead Rise, Ellie, the mother, becomes possessed by an evil force. She initially threatens her family to die but revives to attack them and others. Her possession spreads, causing further havoc. 

Towards the end, Ellie and other possessed individuals morph into a monstrous entity called the Marauder. Beth and Kassie, the remaining family members, manage to destroy the Marauder by forcing it into a wood chipper, ending the terror Ellie posed. 

This possession-driven transformation from a protective mother to a menacing threat forms a central horror element in the narrative​.

What Happened To Danny?

In Evil Dead Rise, Danny, Ellie’s son, becomes a crucial character as he teams up with his aunt Beth to combat the demonic forces. However, he faces a tragic end when, during a chaotic confrontation with the possessed, he gets fatally stabbed by Bridget, another possessed character. Before dying, Danny sets Bridget on fire to halt the attack momentarily, contributing to the fight against the evil that has besieged his family.

Why Wasn’t Beth Infected / Why Didn’t Beth Turn?

Unlike other characters, the movie doesn’t explicitly explain why the evil forces don’t infect Beth. Her avoidance of possession could be due to her determination, the narrative’s design to have a central protagonist fighting evil, or some plot-driven element that provides her with protection or resistance against the demonic forces in Evil Dead Rise.

Did Ellie Die?

Yes, Ellie dies in Evil Dead Rise. After becoming possessed, she initially dies but revives due to the demonic possession. Towards the movie’s end, she and other possessed individuals transform into a horrific entity called the Marauder. Beth and Kassie ultimately destroy this entity.

Did Bridget Die?

Yes, Bridget dies in Evil Dead Rise. After becoming possessed, she attacks Beth and others. During a confrontation, Kassie inadvertently impales her through the head with a broken broom handle, which results in her death. 

What were your thoughts on the plot and ending of Evil Dead Rise? Go ahead and comment in the section below.