Evil Dead Rise Cast & Crew Discuss What They Hope Audiences Will Get Out of the Film

Evil Dead Rise Cast & Crew Discuss What They Hope Audiences Will Get Out of the Film
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Evil Dead Rise Cast & Crew Discuss What They Hope Audiences Will Get Out of the Film

While at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), the cast and crew of Evil Dead Rise spoke with Austin360 about what they wanted audiences to think about after they walked out. The new film was directed by Lee Cronin, with Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan starring in the lead roles. In addition, longtime franchise star Bruce Campbell will serve as an executive producer on the new movie.

Sutherland plays Ellie, the mother of three kids living in a Los Angeles apartment. After one of her kids finds the “mysterious book” that no piece of Evil Dead media would do without, Ellie gets possessed and turns into “the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable.” However, that won't stop her from trying to get a “big ole kiss” from her kids.

“I mean, I hope no one has a fraught relationship with their mother because this might be a little bit triggering. Yeah, it might be. But can I tell you, talking about that, I used to be quite a people pleaser and would self-sacrifice and then kind of repress all of this anger because I was like not honoring myself and that rage is what I tapped into to do this. So, I kind of got it out and it was therapeutic for me,” said Sutherland.

Sullivan plays Beth, Ellie's “road weary” sister who has recently come to visit her family when she gets caught up in the supernatural craziness of the franchise. During this, Beth ends up being on the unfortunate end of a cheese grater in a moment that quickly went viral. She also looks after her niece Kassie (Nell Fisher), promising to get them out.

“The responsibility of family and looking after one another and how intense that can be and how much that can consume your life. And then I love with the horror genre how it chucks it in the blender and let's you laugh at it, let's you look at it, but also lets female roles in life that people put on a pedestal. It just breaks them down and it lets you just laugh,” said Sullivan.

First the Cast, Now the Crew

Evil Dead Rise Cast & Crew Discuss What They Hope Audiences Will Get Out of the Film

Cronin is a filmmaker who also handled scriptwriting duties for the fifth film installment in addition to directing. Before coming aboard the Evil Dead franchise, Cronin also made The Hole in the Ground, which he wrote alongside Stephen Shields. It was a horror film starring Seána Kerslake as a mother whose son first disappears and then starts acting strangely when he returns.

“There's a good. That's the toughest question I've had on the carpet so far. I think it gives us a chance to look at the dark spaces that sometimes we fear most. Like sometimes, through the entertainment of a horror movie, you can actually think about some existential stuff. You can think about death. You can think about the darker sides of life and I think people get a real buzz. But for me, it's also with horror, it's just that buzz that you get when you watch a movie,” said Cronin.

Campbell has been with the franchise from the beginning, playing hero Ashley J. Williams in every Evil Dead movie thus far, in addition to starring in Ash vs Evil Dead and a couple of video games. Ash is known for his iconic chainsaw hand, his equally iconic “boomstick,” and his usage of the word “groovy.”

“I think they're going to think that my mother was not as bad as I thought she was. She was just an alcoholic. She wasn't possessed,” said Campbell.

Evil Dead Rise was initially intended to premiere back in 2022 on HBO Max. However, it received the approval of both Campbell and original director Sam Raimi. Evil Dead Rise survived the Discovery merger and was promoted to theatrical release. At SXSW, the film received a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score, with the one dissenting voice being a heckler who was booed out of the auditorium. In other words, all signs point to the movie being pretty good.

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