Writer/director Lee Cronin explains how the ending of his Evil Dead sequel opens up a new story angle after decades with the Deadites.
No one in the Evil Dead universe has plans quite like Jessica.
You know, Jessica: the bookend wearing a sun hat for Lee Croninit’s splatter”Evil Dead Rise», played by Anna-Maree Thomas. The character appears possessed in the film’s prologue, kicking off vicious city sequel like his first Deadite with a gruesome scalping and beheading scene set in a remote cabin on a lake.
“That was the key from the start because I had this idea that I wanted to take you somewhere familiar, but also kind of tease you and show you that I would subvert your expectations,” Cronin told IndieWire. of the movie. opening thumbnail in a spoiler-rich conversation via Zoom. “Then we set it up in the city, so once I made this up I was like, ‘Well, I need a reason to do this. [the cabin scenes]. I need to be motivated somehow. And that’s what gave me the idea.
Even with Alyssa Sutherland’s single mother, Ellie, hopping on apartment walls like a cannibal cockroach in the main story – a brutally funny portrayal of an urban Los Angeles family literally torn apart by Deadites – it’s Jessica who takes the craziest trip in the film.
“The first sequence that we experience in the movie, if you actually rearranged it, is the last thing in terms of timeline,” Cronin explained. “The order of the movie is what happens in the city, then it’s the epilogue with the girl in the parking lot, then it’s the opening, which I found quite funny and also just different for a Evil Dead movie.”
He continued, “But even though it felt different, Evil Dead is kind of weird. Like ‘Evil Dead II’, there’s this weird prologue and nothing really connects. So it felt out in the world and acceptable to TO DO.
We first meet Deadite Jessica by the lake, reveling in the drone-involved dismemberment of her friends Teresa (Mirabai Pease) and Caleb (Richard Crouchley) before the title card hits. After the movie’s gruesome main event and outrageous wood chipper finale, we see Jessica again: this time before Possession and on her way to meet up with those future old friends for a weekend by the lake.
Jessica steps out of her apartment building and, utterly unaware of the hell that has been uncovered around her, stumbles upon Deadite carnage near her car. She then gets attacked, becomes possessed, and probably sets off to go on vacation anyway.
When asked if Jessica’s surprisingly mobile maneuvers on the California highway network portend some sort of evolving Deadite apocalypse, Cronin replied, “Exactly that. The idea of someone slowly transforming into Deadite driving a car scares me a bit. And I remember taking the influence from COVID: everyone is different, right? There is no one size fits all. In the world of Evil Dead, your psychological strengths and weaknesses impact how possessed you are and how you behave.
“For me, this is the start of something bigger,” the writer/director continued. “That’s the one thing I really wanted to emphasize in this movie and the line is right there on the vinyl when the priest says, ‘This evil can’t be contained, can’t be stopped, all you can do is executed.'”
“I always liked that about Evil Dead right from the start,” he said. “Maybe it wasn’t an intentional choice on the part of [Sam Raimi], but when they’re just driving around in Evil Dead, that force gets up and shows its head in the forest and it’s like, but nobody even read the book. You know what I mean? At the moment. So he’s still there. And once you let the genie out of the bottle, I like the idea of who can’t put it away.
“‘In terms of moving things forward, I think there’s great potential there,’ Cronin said of the franchise’s future. “I have three or four different avenues that we can borrow. There’s a story in this movie that’s shared on vinyl, and it’s a place to go. There’s the story 10 minutes later with those who survive and where they go. There’s also has the people who will arrive in this building, after the carnage. And then there is also the lake and the countryside. Where do we go next, in many ways I think, you want to listen to the fans and see what they enthusiasm. But I’m excited to have more.
“I think ‘Evil Dead Rise’ is a bloody shot in a new direction,” he concluded. “It’s an opening universe.”
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