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Evil Dead Rise is a supernatural horror film written and directed by rising Irish talent Lee Cronin, produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and serial Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell.

As the fifth instalment of the famed franchise, Evil Dead Rise’s standalone story is set mainly within one night, shifting focus from the familiar cabin-in-the-woods scenario to an alarmingly claustrophobic old apartment building in Los Angeles.

It is a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, Beth (Lily Sullivan) and Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), trying to save their loved ones from Deadites. Their reunion is cut short by The Evil Dead’s infamous Necronomicon, AKA the Book of the Dead. Its curses open a Pandora’s Box of demonic possession, endangering the family and thrusting them into a battle for survival.

The final scenes give birth to a new supervillain in the Evil Dead world, The Marauder, a terrifying blend of Deadites – mum Ellie, and kids Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) and Danny (Morgan Davies) – who were joined to form a gruesome spider-like beast. The Marauder attempts to merge with the final child, Kassie (newcomer Nell Fisher), but heroic sister Beth boldly stands in the way.



VFX Supervisor and friend Charlie McClellan approached Cause and FX to handle VFX set supervision for the production’s second unit and compositing the iconic end sequence.

The Marauder required a unique combination of effects, with the base created practically using a prosthetic suit incorporating aspects of the three merged characters. The Cause team meticulously blended the creature prosthetics with multiple live-action plates. Due to COVID restrictions, production shot plates in multiple passes to keep the actors apart, adding complexity.

The scene is complemented by CG blood and smoke as Beth holds her ground using a handy chainsaw, a staple in the Evil Dead universe. In the thrilling finale, Kassie activates the woodchipper, and Beth forces the beast’s retreat before finally destroying it in a festival of blood.


A New Zealand – Ireland co-production, Evil Dead Rise revitalised the franchise with fresh new settings and morally conflicted characters.

With principal photography in New Zealand between June and October 2021 and its release to enthusiastic review in 2023, Cronin’s work successfully expands the Evil Dead saga. Aside from its terror-inducing violence and inventive jump scares, the director received acclaim for his writing and directorial efforts, with actors Sullivan and Sutherland’s performances considered noteworthy.

Evil Dead Rise premiered at South by Southwest on March 15 and was released throughout the United States on April 21, 2023. The R-rated feature was produced by New Line Cinema, with Warner Bros. Pictures releasing the film theatrically.

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