June 24, 2020 The Evil Rises (Movie Review)
Director-Writer Daniel Florenzano’s 2018 film The Evil Rises certainly earned a black mamba rose bouquet by winning the “Best Horror Film” at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Now, recently acquired by Terror Films, it is currently available for borrower viewing on TUBI, as well as other popular platforms such as Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, and Roku. The question is, should you check out The Evil Rises?
The story begins innocently enough: a group of friends throw a beach party and are enjoying a night chockful of carousing. At some point an amorous encounter leads to the discovery of an unusual statuette with its head severed from its torso. The hollow inside contains an ashy residue with a distinct sweet odor. Curiosity gets the better of them and the couple rush over to show Willie (Julian De La Mora: The Playground 2017), who happens to be the resident expert in all things supernatural.
They are in luck, for Willie has recently attended a seminar where the origins of these relics were revealed. He scoops up the relic and gives the group a dramatic rendition of the supernatural lore connected to the statuette. He concludes his speech with an enticing morsel that captures the attention of all present – a line about the granting of any wish. Any conceivable desire would be manifested on the physical plane in exchange for allowing the warlock/witch/witch doctor to access the individual’s spiritual body so that it could be used as a portal eye for the disembodied soul.
Immediate self-gratification is an emotional state that every human being can relate to and provides fertile ground for plot twists as seen in The Evil Rises. After transforming into disfigured demonic minions, a gruesome bloodbath ensued that can be best described as Survival of the Fittest evil minion. That said, the scenes of atrocities are crafted to send chills down your spine. However, some may resist the urge to cover their eyes entirely, leaving a small slit by which to see some of the more gruesome images that flash across the screen.
After the initial bloodlust, only three remain to pay homage and carry out the malevolent machinations of the damned one; Callas (Erik Cram: Towers of Terror 2013, The Branch Report 2018). Interestingly, Callas’s demonic recruits happen to be the couple who initially found the statuette and Willie.
Claudia (Bailey La Flam: The Pact 2016, A Soul to Keep 2017) assumes the ringleader role of this diabolical trio and kept tabs on the nefarious activities of the other two, her boyfriend and Willie. The story picks up steam as the three travel to their headquarters, nestled in the heart of suburbia, and they begin the preparations for the resurrection of the evil one.
Soon, bodies begin piling up and the pizza delivery guy, Chazz (Alec Labato’s debut), smitten by the seductive wiles of the vamp Claudia, has the misfortune to be a witness to something shady and calls it in. Not surprisingly, a cop goes missing and Detective David Jones (Joe Paulson: Uncharted Regions 2017, Pieces and Parts 2018) is sent to investigate. He senses something amiss but cannot quite put his finger on it, but he hits the nail on the head the moment he links the statuette to the strange goings on. And from here… the quest to save the earth unfolds.
Overall, The Evil Rises is a decent low budget Horror film with some minor flaws. In addition to its graphic nature, the musical scores of Troy Maturo helps the overall suspenseful vibes of the film. In fact, the score heavily assists in building tension and fine tuning the emotion until the end. A fun film worth checking out, Cryptic Rock gives The Evil Rises 4 out of 5 stars.