‘Evil Dead Rise’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Did The Threat Of Deadite Finally Come To An End?

“Evil Dead” is one of the horror franchises that successfully stood the test of time even after being reworked into newer, modern installments and managed to gain cult classic status while doing so. Created by director Sam Raimi, the franchise has been regarded highly for its adherence to some of its defining traits like campy fun, signature camera work involving double focus and rushing tracking sequences and sudden zoom-ins, absolute no-nonsense spine-tingling gorefests, cabin in the woods settings, and the nastiest-looking demonic spirits with a penchant for blood and torture, all of which it introduced in the first movie “Evil Dead” in 1981 that revolutionized the horror genre of movies. The fifth and the latest installment of the franchise, “Evil Dead Rise,” directed by Lee Cronin, changes one key aspect by replacing the secluded cabin in a wilderness setting with a now-genre-popular urban apartment backdrop. But that takes away none of the trademark brutal, disgusting carnage juxtaposed with groovy, funny slapstick that franchise fans were hoping to witness, and he delivers a worthy chapter to the franchise that stands on its own while adding a new flavor.

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Spoilers Ahead


A Cabin In The Woods

“Evil Dead Rise” opens in the wilderness and makes the presence of evil felt by showing the trademark sequence of the franchise: an unseen force rushing through the forest and over the lake as it surprises an unaware teenager, Teresa, who is standing on a jetty. It turns out it was a drone operated by Caleb, the jerk boyfriend of her friend Jessica. The trio has arrived at a lakeside secluded cabin to spend their vacation, and Jessica has apparently fallen sick since their arrival. Teresa goes to check up on her friend inside the cabin and, after a chat, sits inside while reading the gothic classic “Wuthering Heights.”

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All of a sudden, Jessica starts reciting excerpts from the novel in an increasingly distorted voice, which freaks out Teresa, and Jessica falls over to the side of her bed. Teresa moves towards her in concern as she assesses the situation. A possessed Jessica tears out Teresa’s scalp from her head. Teresa managed to crawl to the jetty to inform Caleb, and Jessica takes the drone, disfigures her own face, and jumps into the lake. A confused Caleb follows suit to save Jessica and gets viciously mutilated underwater. As Jessica rises above the water by hovering over it, Teresa watches in horror, and the movie’s title card gets boldly showcased in the background. Talk about a strong opening.


Estranged Sisters

“Evil Dead Rise” shows the events of a day earlier, as we see Beth, a music technician by profession, in the dingy bathroom of a nightclub, testing her pregnancy using a kit. After the results turn out to be positive, a visibly concerned Beth decides to pay her sister, Ellie, a visit.

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Living in a rundown apartment in LA, Ellie, a tattooist by profession, lives with her three children: the rock aficionado eldest teenager Danny; a reserved, sensible daughter Bridget; and the youngest, chirpy one, Kassie. As Beth visits her sister Ellie and her nephews and nieces, she is shocked to learn that her sister has been living as a single mother since her separation. Ellie sends the kids to bring pizza with the intention of talking with her sister in private.

Ellie reveals to Beth that during the crisis situation that she faced after her husband left her, she tried to reach out to her sister multiple times, to no avail. Beth finds out the number of voicemails sent to her phone that she hadn’t listened to before and feels guilty for not being there for her sister when she needed her the most. Ellie also remarks that the building that they are living in is scheduled for demolition within months, and she is at a loss trying to balance everything while also taking care of three children. Beth tries to comfort her sister, and even though she herself seeks Ellie’s advice regarding motherhood, she never gets a chance to ask.

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Rise Of The Evil

As the kids return to the building, a massive tremor hits the area, creating a sinkhole in the parking lot. Despite Bridget’s warnings, Danny curiously enters the hole and finds a vault. Among other trash, Danny sees some religious artifacts warding some specific items, which he decides to bring back to their home. The items are the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, aka Book of the Dead, which series fans will easily recognize as the human-skin conduit that summons the evil Kandarian demon and the soul-devouring parasitic demon entities that turn living beings into horrifying thralls known as Deadites. Danny also takes some of the vinyl records he finds with the book.

After the tremor, concerned for her children, Ellie almost sets out with her neighbor Gabriel to locate them when the kids return to their apartment. While tinkering with the book, Danny spills a bit of his blood on it, which allows it to be opened, and he also plays the records, which mention the evil capabilities of the book as dictated by the priests who went against the church to investigate it and paid the price. “Evil Dead” legend Bruce Campbell’s character Ash Williams makes a voice cameo in the records, warning the priests about the evil contained in the book.

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The unholy incantations of the record summon the unseen force of the Kandarian demon, which traverses all the way to the apartment, and unfortunately, Ellie, who was returning from the ground floor in the elevator at the same time, falls victim to it as it tortures her relentlessly. The presence of the entity causes a power outage in the building and harnesses Ellie using elevator cables and wires, which can remind viewers of similar instances in previous movies where characters were restrained by branches and trees in the wilderness.

In a visible daze, Ellie returns to her apartment and starts acting maniacally, speaking of horrendous acts that frighten her children and Beth. Suddenly, Ellie starts vomiting in a vicious manner and collapses, not before telling Beth that ‘it’ has taken her and requesting that she save her kids. After checking her vitals, the family finds her to be dead, and the neighbors, Gabriel and Mr. Fonda, assist the family in handling the tragic moment.

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Deadite Deviousness

Ellie gets reawakened as a Deadite and wreaks brutal havoc on her own family. After stabbing Beth through her hand and piercing and infecting Bridget, she is finally thrown outside of the house, where she dispatches the same-floor neighbors Gabriel, Mr. Fonda, and two other kids. After a while, Deadite Ellie manages to manipulate Kassie into opening the door but somehow gets shut out of the apartment once again.

An infected Bridget becomes possessed as well and attacks Beth, brutalizing her with a grater. She finds her new victim in Kassie, who accidentally impales her with the sharp point of a rod. Considering Bridget dead, Danny binds her to the bed, and feeling guilty for being responsible for the entire fiasco, Danny shows Beth the book and the vinyl records that he thinks must have caused this. Beth locks herself in a room while she listens to the recordings.

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Bridget also gets reawakened as a Deadite and stabs Danny to death, but not before getting burned by him. In the meantime, Deadite Ellie gains access to the apartment by entering through the air vents and attacks Beth once again. As she pins her down, Deadite Ellie discovers Beth’s pregnancy and goes on to almost rip Beth apart when Kassie throws her aunt a knife, which Beth stabs Ellie with, momentarily staggering her. Beth and Kassie make a desperate run to the elevator to escape from the apartment, which, from the looks of it, has been doomed. The elevator malfunctions and the stairs to the immediate lower floor have been destroyed as well. All the deceased apartment residents rise as Deadites, and along with the Deadites of Ellie, Danny, and Bridget, they ominously claim that Beth and Kassie will be “Dead by Dawn”—a nod to the subtitle of “Evil Dead II.”


‘Evil Dead Rise’ Ending Explained: How Did The Threat Of Deadites Finally End?

Unable to find a way out, Beth takes Kassie inside the elevator and gets trapped inside it. The elevator starts getting filled with blood, and in the meantime, all the Deadites start merging with Ellie by tearing through her limbs, creating a hive body of sorts like a Rat King organism. The elevator gets filled to the brim with blood, and the weight causes it to crash to the ground floor. As the blood-flooded elevator opens, a homage to the famous sequence of “Shining” is recreated. Drenched in blood, Beth desperately tries to wake Kassie up and feels relieved after seeing her alive. Kassie had managed to get the car keys before rushing through their apartment, and the duo tried to escape by driving away.

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At the same time, the hive of Deadites arrives in the parking lot, and Beth finds the car stuck in the ground. The duo somehow manages to run away by passing under the closing parking gate, but the Deadite takes Kassie away with it. As the hive, Deadite proceeds to kill Kassie using a chainsaw, yeah, the same iconic weapon of the franchise that Ash and other famous last person standing used to end the Deadites. Beth overpowers the Deadite using Mr. Fonda’s shotgun, and the entity tries to shove her inside a woodchipper nearby. Kassie manages to distract the entity once again, giving Beth enough time to use the chainsaw to dismember it and shove the body inside the woodchipper. Ellie’s severed head tries to provoke Beth one last time, but knowing that her sister is long gone, Beth kicks it into the machine, ending it once and for all. The two last girls standing, Beth and Kassie, get out of the building.

The next day, we see another resident of the building, Jessica, prepare to leave for her vacation. Just before she is about to drive away, she sees the aftermath of last night’s carnage in the parking lot and gets horrified. The Kandarian demon makes her the new host, and the movie ends with Jessica screaming at the top of her lungs as the unseen force tackles her. The ending of “Evil Dead Rise” connects causality with the beginning and makes a brilliant subversion of teasing the future of a movie not by showing the aftereffects at the end of it but by beginning with it.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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