A brand-new Evil Dead movie will be tearing its way into theaters this year, titled Evil Dead Rise (2023). It's the fifth movie in the Evil Dead franchise, but the brand-new trailer doesn't offer any clue as to whether or not it's connected to any of the previous movies. So, is Evil Dead Rise a reboot or a sequel?
Before we jump in, check out the "red-band" trailer for Evil Dead Rise below (warning - the video contains disturbing images and scenes of graphic violence):
Evil Dead Rise is the fifth film in the Evil Dead franchise, which started with The Evil Dead (1981). That film got two sequels, in Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987) - which also acts as a reboot of the original - and Army of Darkness (1993), both of which follow the journey of Ash (Bruce Campbell).
In 2013, we got a straight-up reboot of that original 1981 film from director Fede Álvarez, simply titled Evil Dead (2013). Since then, we've also had the television series Ash vs. The Evil Dead (2015). which follows on from the original three films, and is in no way connected to the 2013 reboot.
So how does Evil Dead Rise fit into the franchise? Is it connected to those original three films and the television series starring Bruce Campbell, or is it a follow-up to the 2013 film? The trailer certainly suggests it's the latter, as it certainly looks similar in terms of both style and tone.
The film is written and directed by Lee Cronin, and follows the story of two estranged sisters who, after the "Book of the Dead" (known also as the Necronomicon), come face to face with one of the demonic creatures known as a "Deadite" in their apartment.
As for whether or not it's a sequel or a reboot, the answer isn't necessarily clear. What does appear to be the case is that it is not a sequel to the 2013 reboot. Last year, Variety reported that it will instead build upon the mythology of the original trilogy.
Exactly how this will transpire on screen remains to be seen, but at this point, it's still entirely possible that the final product will act independently of any previous Evil Dead movie, but still have ties to those original films.
As per Warner Bros. Pictures, here's the official synopsis for Evil Dead Rise:
In the fifth Evil Dead film, a road-weary Beth pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie, who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped L.A. apartment. The sisters' reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie's building, giving rise to flesh-possessing demons, and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival as she is faced with the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable.
Evil Dead Rise stars Lily Sullivan (Beth), Alyssa Sutherland (Ellie), Morgan Davies (Danny), Gabrielle Echols (Bridget), Nell Fisher (Kassie), Mia Challis (Jessica), Tai Wano (Scott), Jayden Daniels (Gabriel), and Billy Reynolds-McCarthy (Jake).
Evil Dead Rise was originally intended for release on HBO Max, however, it's now scheduled for theatrical release on April 21, this year.