EVIL DEAD RISE is probably one of the biggest horror movies of the year. It was a controversial release, since people are quite attached to the EVIL DEAD franchise and its original star, Bruce Campbell. I’m actually a fan of the reboot from a decade ago, and EVIL DEAD RISE goes one step above in every respect. But what I loved the most about EVIL DEAD RISE is how it represents selfishness in motherhood. So, let’s talk about that!
My Own Experience
There’s always this image of mothers being the caring figure in one’s life. But that is not the case for me. My biological mother was, and is, an abusive person. It’s impossible to have a good relationship with her, and as a child, I was completely vulnerable to her abuse.
So, when I watched EVIL DEAD RISE and saw how it depicted literal abuse from a mother, as well as some of the subtext, I was pleasantly surprised that this issue had been finally addressed in a mainstream horror film.
EVIL DEAD RISE & Motherhood
I’ll try to keep this spoiler free, but there’s some stuff that I can’t avoid. It was in the trailer, though, so if you’ve seen the trailer, you can read what I’m about to write. Cool? Cool.
Ellie is the mother of Danny, Bridget and Kassie, and sister to Beth. The focus of the film is obviously on Beth and the children as they try to survive the onslaught of craziness unleashed by Ellie. But to me, what I really loved was seeing Ellie as a flawed mother, even before she became possessed.
The truth is, she did her best, but she was not ready to be a mom. Neither is Beth. And some people are just not good mother material, and that’s all there is to it. If you’d like to see the possession of Ellie as a metaphor (as I did), then you can go even deeper.
I mean, a “possession” in real life can be anything: a divorce, debt, mental health. In my case, it was all of the above. My mother just didn’t know how to be a mother. And neither does Ellie. And when that gets multiplied in her “possessed” form, and she wants to perpetuate her own existence at the cost of anything, including the well-being of her children, I just thought: “yes, it’s like that sometimes”.
We Need More Realistic Depictions of Motherhood
We’ve seen evil children plenty of times. Omen-like movies are a dime a dozen. And sure, evil kids are creepy. But why do we not portray bad parents as the villains in horror films more often? This is not something exclusive to me. There’s a whole bunch of people out there (some of which are my friends) who had terrible parents and horrible upbringings.
Why are our experiences not being shown on screen? Is it a profitability thing? Is it not “good” to show the reality of the fact that some people are just crappy parents?
I don’t have the answer to that, but if you have any more movies about crappy parents putting their own needs above that of their children, hit me up on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) @MarcosCodas.