How many Evil Dead movies are there and is Evil Dead Rise connected to the horror film franchise?

A still from The Evil Dead (Image via IMDb)
A still from The Evil Dead (Image via IMDb)

The Evil Dead franchise is synonymous with horror fanatics from various age groups since it is more than four decades old. Evil Dead Rise is the latest installation by Warner Bros. Pictures, scheduled for release in the United States on April 21. In total, there are a total of five Evil Dead movies.

The first three were directed by Sam Raimi, while the fourth and fifth were directed by Fede Álvarez and Lee Cronin respectively.

Here are their names and their release dates:

  • The Evil Dead - October 15, 1981
  • Evil Dead II - March 13, 1987
  • Army of Darkness - February 19, 1993
  • Evil Dead - April 5, 2013
  • Evil Dead Rise - April 21, 2023

The 2013 release does not continue with the story of the first three films but was heavily inspired by the first movie. It has been speculated that Evil Dead Rise is set to have more connections to the original trilogy, but we can't be entirely sure about it since the film hasn't been released yet.

This franchise contains not just movies but also a TV show titled Ash vs Evil Dead which was released on October 31, 2015. It had three seasons and aired till April 29, 2018.


A brief look at all five Evil Dead films

1) The Evil Dead - 1981

Starring Bruce Campbell, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, and Ellen Sandweiss, The Evil Dead was the first introduction to the legendary protagonist Ash Williams. The story follows five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a remote wooded area. After they find an audio tape that, when played, releases a legion of demons and spirits, four members of the group suffer from demonic possession.

Ash heroes his way through this horror using extreme methods and survives. The film has developed a cult status over time. The 2013 film, Evil Dead, was heavily inspired by this movie.


2) Evil Dead II - 1987

Similar to the first installment, this film too sees our hero Ash Williams save the day. But instead of a group of friends, this time he and his girlfriend Linda visit a remote cabin in the woods. He discovers an audio tape of recitations from a book of ancient texts, and when the recording is played, it unleashes a number of demons that possess and torment him.


3) Army of Darkness - 1993

Army of Darkness served as a direct sequel to Evil Dead II, which was released six years prior. The film's story follows Ash Williams accidentally being transported to the Middle Ages and battling the undead in his quest to return to the present.

It grossed $21.5 million total over its $11 million budget and received generally positive reviews from critics. Raimi's direction, humor, and visuals were wholeheartedly praised.


4) Evil Dead - 2013

Heavily inspired by 1981's The Evil Dead, the film's cast included a fresh bunch of actors like Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore.

Like the first-ever installment, its story follows a group of five people under attack by a supernatural entity in a remote cabin in the woods. The film made a whopping $97 million worldwide against a production budget of $17 million.


5) Evil Dead Rise - Releasing on April 21, 2023

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Lee Cronin wrote and directed Evil Dead Rise. The film stars Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland as two estranged sisters. Not much is known about it since its release is imminent, but the synopsis for Evil Dead Rise, according to Rotten Tomatoes reads,

"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, by Warner Bros. Pictures, is scheduled for release in the United States on April 21.

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay