Evil Dead Rise has a second hidden cameo from Bruce Campbell

Evil Dead Rise resurrects the horror franchise in style with a no-holds-barred, gore-soaked horror ride that will please Evil Dead fans and hopefully attract new ones to the series at the same time.

But despite multiple injuries from graters, wine glasses, and other household items (plus one particularly nasty moment), writer-director Lee Cronin — the director of 2019 horror standout The Hole in the Ground — honestly thought he wasn’t having gone far enough.

“We had our world premiere at SXSW a few weeks ago, and I did a test screening that morning – I hadn’t seen the film in a while – just to check out all the tech and everything, and that I was happy with the levels audio for the film,” recalls Cronin Digital Spy.

“I was there with my sound designer. I finally turned around and thought, ‘I don’t know if I’ve pushed this movie far enough.’ He was like, ‘Are you crazy?’. So I think we pushed it to the limit. And there weren’t any ideas that I left behind that I was happy with. With Evil Dead, it’s hard to go too far.”

The new film changes up the Evil Dead formula by moving the Deadite action to the city as two estranged sisters Beth (Lily Sullivan) and Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) find themselves in a battle for survival.

Ahead of Evil Dead Rise’s release in theaters this Friday (April 21), Digital Spy sat down with Lee Cronin to talk about fake blood challenges, hidden Evil Dead references, and a second Bruce Campbell cameo in the film.

You say you were worried it didn’t go far enough, but the big difference here, compared to the other one Evil Dead movie, is that the children are on the table. Even today you don’t see that in horror movies.

Lee Cronin: Yes, it’s really rare that it’s from that point of view. And people have asked me, have I ever thought about not owning children and doing the things that happen to them in the story?

But then again, once there was Evil Dead plus the kids, we wouldn’t be sitting here if you let them off the hook. Because in an Evil Dead movie, the innocent have to suffer. This is one of the rules.

Evil Dead Rise was filmed in chronological order, so was that just to make things easier with all the fake blood around?

My first assistant director, one of the things he identified very early on was for the most part, we have to shoot this movie in order because we’re not going to have time to clean up the carnage.

What’s interesting is that the film continues to try to outdo itself throughout. The next scene gets bigger, gets crazier, gets more terrifying. So, as cast and crew, we were on a journey just like the characters.

As we got more and more exhausted, making the film was getting more difficult. Set pieces were getting bigger. The technique was getting challenging. So that was a pretty crazy way to make a movie. I’d say we shot about 80% or 85% of it in order.

evil dead rise director lee cronin and alyssa sutherland

Canal studio

While it’s not related to what’s come before, it has plenty evil Dead he nods. It was a difficult balance to strike because, as a fan yourself, you just want to say, “Let’s put all the evil Dead In”?

I probably had more in the original draft and started pulling some back. Ultimately, the way I handled it was if it felt natural to the story.

So, for example, I found a way to put the chainsaw into the story because I had a character in a set of circumstances, and I planted the idea of ​​that chainsaw very subtly, very early in the film. But things like the Oldsmobile Delta – which isn’t in this movie and which I love as an icon – this family was never going to drive that car.

It was just about trying to find the balance, and there are actually a lot of Easter eggs buried deep in this movie for the fans. So if they watch the movie, hopefully many times, they’ll delve into it.

It’s fun to talk about the Oldsmobile Delta, for example. The chainsaw in an Evil Dead movie is usually red, but I changed the color and it’s the exact color of the Oldsmobile Delta.

So there really are buried Easter eggs. And then there are bigger, more obvious ones like the one eyeball scene that Evil Dead II fans will understand.

the wicked dead rise again

the wicked dead rise again

One of them was a challenge to find Bruce Campbell’s cameo in the film, but we guess you never expected it to be found so quickly?

People scrambled pretty quickly to find that cameo. But there’s another Bruce moment in the film as well. He also did some Foley work for me. There’s a scene around an eye where there’s a bit of chewing and Bruce created that sound by furiously eating an apple for me.

You could have pretended it was actually the cameo you’re talking about.

I could have done, yeah, saved myself $50 and said someone was wrong.

Even if it’s not set in a cabin, you open the film with a set set in a cabin. It was a case where you wanted to make your own evil Deadbut also make a mini ‘classic’ evil Dead mashed potato?

I like to have a prologue that teases or gives an idea of ​​what the movie experience will be. I did the same thing with my first film, The Hole in the Ground. If you look at the prologue in that, it’s like a mini version of what’s to come. It is thematically showing you a way in.

With this film, I knew I wanted to scare people beforehand. I kind of buy their time, so I can explore the character because it was important. I knew that once this movie is done, there would be less chance for character development. You have to go with the crazed, bloodthirsty juggernaut that the movie becomes.

I wanted to move to the city, but even a small part of me was disappointed that I wouldn’t get a chance to go to the cabin, so I thought, “You know what? I’m going to put a cabin at the beginning of and slightly subvert people’s expectations “.

Like with the opening shot where the fans so instantly recognize what they’re looking at, but then I twist it and say, “I understand what that is too, but I’m going to take you on a different journey.”

the wicked dead rise again

Canal studio

After the first trailer came out, the Cheese Greater scene went viral for obvious reasons. Doing stuff pretty much defines a evil Dead movie, so was there a particular beat that ended up being more complicated than anticipated to deal with practically?

It was all very difficult. The thing I’ve learned is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to any of those moments in the film, what the crew has always called gags. It wasn’t like, “Hey, someone is going to get stabbed like this” or, “This event is going to happen, and this is how we do it.” We needed five solutions for everything.

So even something as simple as… I was going to say “as simple as a stab in the hand,” that everyday thing, that required four or five different rigs to actually capture the required different angles that I wanted.

We all had these names for different things. It’s like, “How’s the bow and arrow job going?”, which would be a way to hide when something has gone through someone’s head, and have a thing around the side so you can’t see that it’s there.

The crew worked very hard, but they were driven and really creative people. So they helped me understand everything [and] they really enjoyed themselves.

evil dead rise director lee cronin

Canal studio

Finally, what is it that you hope that? evil Dead do fans get from Evil Dead Rise?

I just hope everyone, fans and not only, really enjoys the movie. This was on my mind. I wanted to make this a fun thrill ride. The feeling I have is that the fans are really embracing it and really enjoying it, which is great.

So what I hope they do for me in return is bring in new people, who may have never seen an Evil Dead movie before. Older or younger, I don’t mind. But it just brings new people to the bloody party.

And then they’re going to turn to those people and say, “What the hell did you introduce me to?”

What did you do to me? But I bet they will be caught and then they can come and see the other movies.

Evil Dead Rise hits theaters on April 21st.

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