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The Ending Of Evil Dead Rise Explained

Contains spoilers for "Evil Dead Rise"

The "Evil Dead" franchise returns with a new entry, "Evil Dead Rise," whose director Lee Cronin takes the franchise's vicious sense of evil and love of gore into new territory. The film follows a family living in Los Angeles who stumble upon a creepy-looking book that contains a sinister force within its pages. After this darkness is released from the book, it targets and possesses the family's matriarch so that it can spread its evil power to everyone else. As the entity's grip on the mother tightens, everyone else is forced into a fight for their lives as this presence hunts them down, causing absolute carnage along the way.

"Evil Dead" has seen a huge resurgence over the last decade — largely thanks to the popularity of "Ash Vs Evil Dead" on the small screen — but it reaches new heights with "Evil Dead Rise." Even though Bruce Campbell's Ash isn't around for the fun this time, there are plenty of incredible frights for fans to feast on. But be warned: "Evil Dead Rise" is not for the squeamish. Cronin crafts a final stretch full of bloodshed and wild horror that can be tough to keep track of through all the chaos. So, let's delve into everything that happens in "Evil Dead Rise's" finale and dissect some of its biggest moments.

New book, same horror

Before delving into "Evil Dead Rise's" bloodiest and most horrifying thrills and kills, let's talk about this film's version of the Necronomicon, since it bears an interesting connection to the franchise's history and has some unique variations — both in design and execution. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Cronin talked about how this film's Necronomicon was inspired by something he saw in "Army of Darkness." When Cronin first started meeting with Sam Raimi about "Evil Dead Rise," he actually acknowledged that there were three Necronomicons shown in the film and that he wanted to utilize one of them for his own entry. 

Cronin said, "You [Raimi] had one, Fede had one, [and now] I'm going to take the third one." Thus, this book is a part of franchise lore and comes with its own brand of evil. Its design is absolutely chilling, featuring serious varicose veins on the cover and a pair of sharp teeth that keep it locked until the reader offers up some blood. There's actually no text in the book, so the usual method of reading from it to unleash the spirit doesn't apply here. Instead, the book in "Evil Dead Rise" utilizes an interesting concept of a recording of a priest reading cryptic text as the catalyst to let its evil entity free. "Evil Dead Rise" acts as a new chapter for the franchise, so it's only fitting for it to have its own "Book of the Dead."

Another deadite

For most of the film, the family only deals with one deadite (as the parties possessed by demonic forces in "Evil Dead" are referred to) trying to torture and kill them: the family matriarch, Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland). However, that changes when Beth (Lily Sullivan) discovers that Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) has become a monster as well. Bridget's transformation traces back to when Ellie tries to give Bridget a gnarly tattoo. Before Ellie puts her ink needle into Bridget's skin, she sticks the needle into her own head to infect it with some of her own blood. Then, she drills it into Bridget's cheek, giving her a nasty scar that's not going to heal easily and leaving a permanent mark. 

By the time we see the cut again, it has turned a sickly black and starts to sprout dark veins all over Bridget's face — never a good sign. Apparently, when Ellie put her blood on the needle and embedded it into Bridget's skin, it went deep enough to essentially put the curse in her. So as it spreads like a skin infection, the entity's power begins to consume Bridget until she's fully possessed and starts vomiting up worms and insects. When Beth discovers Bridget, it's too late to save her, and the group suddenly has another undead family member to contend with.

Cat call

The family is generally able to stay safe from Ellie after they trap her in the hallway, but she still makes attempts to get back in. From viciously banging her head against the door to luring Kassie (Nell Fisher) into opening the door, Ellie has plenty of tricks up her sleeve to try and get back into the room. However, it's not until Ellie hears something in the vents that she's able to come up with a successful plan. 

Earlier, Mr. Fonda (Mark Mitchinson) is introduced trying to call his cat, who likes to venture into the vents and whose meows can be heard throughout the building. When his cat finally comes back to his owner's room and lets out a big meow, it alerts Ellie and gives her an idea. Before you know it, she's seen hopping down from the vent in the room that Beth is in to perform a sneak attack on her. Frankly, it would've been more fitting for Mr. Fonda's cat to be black, since it's nothing but bad luck for Beth.

Not easily killed

To see if she can learn a little more about how to stop Ellie, Beth decides to listen to the records that came with the book. Eventually, she comes across a recording of one of the priests talking about the curse and how all the other priests have become possessed. He goes into detail about his attempts to stop this demonic force and kill his former friends, but pretty much says they all failed.

When they tried to use prayer and religious practices to excise the demon, it only laughed at them and then spread to the other members. When he tried to burn the possessed ones, they simply rose from the ashes. When he tried to bury them, they just crawled their way out of the ground. Even when he tried to dismember them, they still pursued him and wouldn't die. Fans already know that deadites are tough to kill, but this recording paints an even more horrifying picture for Beth that solidifies their seemingly unkillable nature. 

A big brawl

After Ellie makes it back into the room and Bridget escapes the restraints that Danny (Morgan Davies) put her in, a huge brawl erupts that causes the entire apartment to be thrown into chaos. Danny ends up battling with Bridget in the kitchen, where she stabs him multiple times with a knife, nearly killing her own brother. At first, Danny seems powerless to stop Bridget until he's able to turn on the stovetop and use a spray can to craft a flamethrower that lights Bridget's head on fire. It doesn't kill her for good, but it's enough to at least keep her down for a while.

As for Beth, she ends up in a gruesome fight with Ellie that spills into the living room. There's blood flying everywhere and Ellie is really tearing Beth up. Although Danny tries to help, he's quickly tossed aside by Ellie, who nearly has Beth in a prime killing position. However, Kassie is able to give Beth an edge when she slides her mother's scissors over to Beth — who uses them to stab Ellie through the nose. It temporarily incapacitates Ellie long enough for the group to escape the apartment, but isn't enough to fully take her out for long.  

Another one bites the dust

With the two deadites incapacitated for the moment, Beth is ready to grab who's left and bolt for the exit. Unfortunately, she and Kassie have to suffer the loss of Danny before leaving. While he seemed able to come out victorious in his fight with Bridget, his stab wounds are too severe and he ends up bleeding to death. Danny's guilt over causing this curse to be unleashed was part of what fuelled him to help stop it, and as we watch the film, there's a part of us that hopes he can find redemption. 

Sadly, that isn't the case, making his end incredibly tragic and bittersweet. His tearful apology to Kassie right before he dies is undeniably heartbreaking and it adds to the cruelty of the moment. Even worse is that Danny eventually comes back as a deadite, so he goes from helping his family survive to hunting them down. Danny's death is one of the saddest moments of "Evil Dead Rise," and it makes Beth determined to protect Kassie at all costs so she doesn't lose another loved one. 

Putting some heads together

Although Beth and Kassie are able to get into the hallway and even snag Mr. Fonda's shotgun, they have a lot of problems coming their way. Not only has Ellie reawakened and begun pursuing them again, but all the people who have been killed throughout the film are also coming back as deadites. Even when Beth is able to shoot an arm and a leg off Ellie, she's still capable of coming after them and suddenly takes a horrifying new form when Bridget and Danny join her. 

As Beth and Kassie take their blood-soaked elevator ride, the book suddenly flips through pages until it lands on an image of a creature with multiple bodies seemingly conjoined into one disgusting-looking entity. That's exactly what forms when Danny and Bridget's bodies conjoin with their mother, and the ghoulish result is seen when it attacks Beth and Kassie in the garage. Its multiple hands will instantly strike fear in audiences and the visual of their three heads together will make every viewer squirm in their seats. This terrifying abomination is one of the film's most skin-crawling inventions, and is quite possibly the most fearsome deadite of all time. 

Escape thwarted

Once Beth and Kassie make it into the garage, they honestly seem like they're home-free. They have keys to a car just waiting for them to drive out of there and a pretty clear path ahead of them. Even when the gate struggles to open, it eventually does, and they start driving toward their freedom. However, they're stopped by the arrival of the newly-formed deadite monster that has sinister plans for them. With this creature deadlier than any other deadite they've faced, they're forced to play a little hide and seek as they try to head toward the exit. 

Unfortunately, the gate starts to close as they make their way there, and they have to make a run for it — which gives away their location. While Beth is able to quickly slide under the closing gate, Kassie is grabbed by the creature just before she makes it, leading her to be captured. As a result, Beth has to smash open a nearby grate to save Kassie. Although they were so close to escaping, Beth and Kassie are forced to square off against this beast and put it down, once and for all. 

Into the grinder

With no other option than to face the deadite head-on, Beth takes her shot at killing it, but it doesn't go as planned. The creature is simply too strong for Beth to fight without a powerful enough weapon, and she's nearly turned to mulch when the creature tries to shove her into a wood chipper. Thankfully, Kassie is able to turn it off before that happens and Beth turns the tables on the deadite. With the creature putting itself right in front of the wood chipper's opening, Beth grabs a nearby chainsaw and tells Kassie to turn the chipper back on. 

In true "Evil Dead" fashion, Beth revs up the chainsaw and impales the creature, pushing it into the chipper. As it heads towards the grinding mechanism, the creature is literally cut down to a bloody pulp, and there's no coming back from that. The chipper is spewing gallons of blood, leaving Beth in it by the end of the whole ordeal. The only thing that's left once Beth is done is Ellie's head — which tries to coax Beth into letting her live before taunting her with nasty remarks. This leads her to kick the head in and truly put an end to this nightmare. With this gesture, "Evil Dead Rise" sticks to its franchise's roots and delivers a gloriously bloody finale that fans will rave about. 

A new life

Now with the creature slain, Beth and Kassie are able to finally leave this nightmare and start a new life. Their hearts are certainly heavy, since they've not only had to go through this night of blood and brutality, but also because ... well, most of their family is now dead. Still, they're happy to be alive and will at least be able to welcome a new member of the family, since Beth confirmed to Kassie that she's pregnant. 

In our last glimpse of them, they're walking toward the exit and their fates are left unknown. Maybe we'll see Beth and Kassie again in a future film to help fight more deadites — possibly alongside Ash or Mia from the 2013 remake — but for now, they're simply going to start anew. Although these two have gone through hellish nightmares that'll follow them for the rest of their lives, they can rest easy for now knowing that they're able to walk away. 

And it starts again

Before the film begins to roll credits, we actually get one last scene that ties back to the opening of the film. We're shown a woman named Jessica (Anna-Maree Thomas) leaving her apartment on a lower floor and heading to the garage. She's talking with her friend about the weekend they're going to have together at the lake, but soon sees all the carnage and blood spilling throughout the garage. Then suddenly, the camera (acting as the evil spirit) is shown zooming toward her at different angles until she's left screaming. 

This ending ties back to the opening, where we see Jessica become fully possessed and kill all of her friends before rising out of the lake, ready to take on the rest of the world. With Jessica's fate now ambiguous and her demonic power still growing, it's possible that this hints at a potential sequel that'll see either a new batch of characters have to fight against her, or a returning character face her in an attempt to snuff out the curse for good. Regardless, it's a great little end stinger that ties everything together and shows how this kind of evil rarely likes to stay dead. 

Will there be a sequel?

At the moment, there have been no announcements made about a sequel to "Evil Dead Rise" in development, but signs for one to come are very good. Reviews for the film have been glowing, and it is poised to have a good run at the box office. However, we have been in this position before with "Evil Dead." Prior to this film's release, plans for a sequel to "Army of Darkness," the 2013 remake, and future seasons of "Ash vs. Evil Dead" were scrapped. So, just because "Evil Dead Rise" escaped that fate doesn't mean that it's going to get follow-up films. 

If it does, though, there are plenty of good story directions for future films to embrace. Like this film, a sequel could simply follow new characters dealing with their own evils derived from the Necronomicon. Perhaps it could bring the worlds of all three major films together and have its legacy characters team up to take on Jessica, who's now free to take her evil elsewhere. Or we could simply see Beth and Kassie try to escape this evil force again after it comes to find them as Jessica. The possibilities are endless for what another "Evil Dead" movie could bring. If "Evil Dead Rise" is a success, hopefully we can see some of them come to life.