Evil Dead Rise

Alyssa Sutherland as a possessed Ellie

Who’s been watching The Exorcist? Writer/director Lee Cronin has, and Evil Dead Rise, the fifth instalment in the Evil Dead franchise, is thick with references to William Friedkin’s seminal 1973 horror movie. No bad thing in itself and just for fun Cronin chucks in an amusing reference to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining at one point, just to keep things lively. Comedy has been part of the mix in the Evil Dead series, going back to halfway through the second instalment when director Sam Raimi suddenly pushed the ick factor so far beyond overload that it became funny. It seemed unintentional, a misjudgement, at first. But going repeatedly too far proved Raimi meant it … Read more

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange

The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe must surprise even Marvel. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the 28th film in the series, the fifth of Phase Four, and with talk of folding both Deadpool and Blade into the franchise, the MCU isn’t going anywhere just yet. Have a squint at the Trivia section for this film’s entry on the IMDb – it expands to fill several multiverses. Fanboy fervour unbound. Sam Raimi is part of that success. Though his Spider-Man trilogy of 20 years ago isn’t part of the official MCU – and Blade had to an extent already shown the way – the success of three films in five … Read more

The Gift

Redneck Keanu Reeves in The Gift

Director Sam Raimi is an expert in genre-twisting. Back when he was making The Evil Dead he so overloaded his gore epic that it eventually became funny. With The Gift he takes on a genre even more arcane: the British whodunit. Then he does weird shit with it. First he transports the whole shebang to the Deep South to remove all traces of afternoon tea or warm beer. Then he gives us Cate Blanchett as a clairvoyant detective who can’t quite make out the identity of the murderer – well, it wouldn’t be much of film if she could, would it? And then, as a masterstroke, he takes a raft of famous faces … Read more