Horror films are generally evaluated based on their endings, and Evil Dead Rise (2023) is no exception. With its intriguing premise and production qualities, Lee Cronin’s next entry in the Evil Dead series has garnered much attention among horror enthusiasts. As the titles roll, the audience is left with a mixture of surprise, perplexity, and maybe even pleasure. What does the last bit signify though? The finale of Evil Dead Rise is analyzed and compared to other films in the series, and its themes and symbolism are dissected, as is its effect on the growth of key characters.
Evil Dead Rise (2023) Ending Explained
* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *
Evil Dead Rise’s climax is best grasped by reviewing the events leading up to the climax. After a violent battle, Beth and her niece Kassie manage to vanquish the evil spirit that had been tormenting them. A gang of heroic firemen is waiting for them when they emerge triumphant from the building’s basement in this action flick. However, instead of showing signs of relief, the sisters’ expressions in the photo reveal shock and horror.
Ellie is left alone in the building as an invisible entity attacks and takes possession of her when the power goes out. She comes back to the apartment in a trance, makes threatening statements to her family, and eventually dies after begging Beth to keep her kids safe. The neighbors approach Beth’s house to help her sleep and look for an exit. Before Ellie comes back to life and attacks the family, hurting Bridget, they discover that the staircase has fallen, the elevator is broken, and the fire escape is blocked. After Ellie murders the neighbors and is pursued by Beth and the kids, they lock her outside the apartment.
Ellie lures Kassie into opening the door so she may assault her, and Danny tells Beth he found the Naturom Demonto. While Danny and Beth are busy saving Kassie and shutting Ellie out, Bridget gets possessed by her wound. Amid her assault on Beth, Bridget turns on Danny and Kassie, accidentally impaling the latter on the broken broom handle.
As Beth listens to the third record, she discovers that the priest failed that his comrades were possessed, and that the only way to stop the Deadites is to destroy the host. Ellie sneaks inside the apartment via the vents as Bridget revives Danny, who stabs her to death before setting her on fire. Ellie tries to tear the fetus out of Beth once she finds out she’s pregnant, but Beth and Kassie can incapacitate her with scissors. Ellie’s attempts to emotionally blackmail Kassie into denying her mother’s death fall flat.
After realizing that Danny and the corpses of the neighbors are possessed, Beth and Kassie seek refuge in the broken elevator. Ellie, Bridget, and Danny transform into the Marauder, an amorphous monster with many appendages, and assault the two while the elevator fills with their blood. Beth and Kassie can escape into the parking lot as the elevator crashes to the bottom level under their combined weight. The Marauder kidnaps Kassie and prepares to decapitate her with a chainsaw, but Beth comes to distract it, and the two of them end up shoving the Marauder’s corpse into a wood chipper. In response to Ellie’s severed head taunting her that she would fail as a mother, Beth kicks the head of Ellie into a chipper. Beth and Kassie make their way out of the building together.
Themes and Symbolism
The importance of female friendship is a recurring subject in Evil Dead Rise. Sisters and business partners Ellie and Beth have decided to open a new restaurant. The fact that they must work together to defeat the evil entity only deepens their family bonds.
The issue of corporate greed and the exploitation of minority groups is another overarching subject. The building’s owner is a rich businessman who is ready to put his residents’ lives in danger for financial gain. The demonic presence in the building represents the pent-up frustration and bitterness of those wronged there.
The movie is full of symbolism, from the crimson elevator (representing the journey into hell) to the black veins (representing the spread of evil). The conclusion is just as satisfying. The girls’ rescue by firemen may be seen as a sign of hope and redemption, but their facial expressions imply otherwise.
The sisters’ development is significantly impacted by how Evil Dead Rise ends. Ellie, Beth’s older sister, initially doesn’t believe her when she tells her about the demonic influence. Still, as the danger increases, she grasps the seriousness of the situation and emerges as their major source of incentive to stay alive.
Beth is more attuned to the supernatural and perceptive and is the first to realize something is wrong and acts independently to assist in defeating the beast. Ellie is cold and reserved early in the film, but her former demons keep returning to haunt her. Beth is more carefree and spontaneous but also revealed to be rather naive. Ellie’s will to battle the evil powers that threaten their life grows throughout the film, while Beth’s ability to cope with the atrocities they see deepens.
Beth is one of the movie’s main characters and is connected to the demonic spirits that inhabit the building. Her naiveté and openness to sensitivity are a welcome contrast to the more jaded perspectives that are more common.
Beth is making a concerted effort to mend the emotional scars that the tragedy she experienced in the past produced. Ellie becomes increasingly determined and brave as she battles the demons and tries to save Beth, while Lily struggles to make sense of the incomprehensible events they must face. The movie’s impact is amplified by the viewer’s emotional investment in the characters, despite the openness and ambiguity of the film’s finale.
The events seem to have left significant scars on both of them, which might have lasting effects on their relationship. The alternative possibility is that their demonic possession or infection has altered their personalities irreparably.
Direction and Cinematography
Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise is praised for its directing and cinematography. It takes place in a tall building, giving viewers a feeling of being hemmed in. The directing and cinematography of the last moment are impressive, with slow motion and the sisters’ astonished looks. Roque Baos’s score features unsettling sounds meant to evoke discomfort and anxiety.
Comparison to Previous Installments
The Evil Dead, a legendary horror film, was released in 1981 and the fourth film in the series is titled Evil Dead Rise. Two more films followed, then a remake and TV show based on the property.
The conclusion of Evil Dead Rise is a departure from the previous films, where the protagonist, Ash, manages to flee the cabin without succumbing to the demons’ possession. Ash is taken into a dimensional rift after Evil Dead II, and his ultimate destiny is never revealed. In the last moments of Army of Darkness, Ash travels back in time to his era and is greeted as a hero.
In contrast, the conclusion of Evil Dead Rise is open-ended in terms of how its characters turn out. Fans of the series are split on how they feel about this change from prior entries. Some people find the lack of clarity thrilling and adventurous, while others find it disappointing and full of questions.
Evil Dead Rise’s climax provides a satisfactory denouement to a film packed with unexpected twists and turns. As a result, horror enthusiasts have been debating and theorizing about the characters’ ultimate fates. The film’s character arcs are compelling, and its concepts and symbolism are well-explained. The directing and cinematography are top-notch, and it’s fascinating to see how they stack up against the series’ earlier entries. The conclusion of Evil Dead Rise will stick with you, for better or worse.
Original Title: Evil Dead Rise
Genre: Horror/ Supernatural
Runtime: 1hr 36min
Original Language: English
Written & Directed by Lee Cronin
Release date: April 21, 2023 (USA)
Origin Country: United States