3 Reasons To Watch Evil Dead Rise From the SXSW Red Carpet

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Evil Dead Rise is the latest in the iconic horror franchise. It comes with an intensity that harkens back to the original film, with humor delivered not from the camp the series became known for but what helped the first film in the series become beloved. The film had its World Premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival. On the red carpet, we got the chance to speak with the cast and crew of the film, which gave their input into what makes it so special. While I’m sure those coming to watch Evil Dead Rise are waiting in anticipation, our talk with Writer-director Lee Cronin, stars Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan, and Supervising Sound Editor Peter Albrechtsen has three clear reasons why you should be hyped to see this bloody and vicious horror addition to the franchise the day that Evil Dead Rise hits your local theater.

Watch Evil Dead Rise for the Horror

Watch Evil Dead Rise - But Why Tho

The first reason to watch Evil Dead Rise is a simple one: the horror. As much as the film is in direct conversation with the past Evil Dead films, writer-director Lee Cronin has also crafted a love letter to the genre that features an aesthetic built on a solid foundation of iconic moments twisted in his unique way. We asked Cronin about his influences on the film, and in response, Cronin said, “My influences come from a lot of different places, and a lot of them from horror. I love horror, and I love a lot of movies, but it just so happens that maybe eight out of my top ten are horror movies because I watched a lot of them as a kid. My siblings, my family, all loved horror, so I was introduced to things I shouldn’t have seen at a very early age.”

But Cronin went one step further, calling out just a few of the influences you’ll see when you watch Evil Dead Rise. He continued, “Influences to me like JAWS, The Shining, The Wicker Man, and of course the Evil Dead movies are throughout the film. I love both the blood and gory bits, but I also really love the paranoia and the dread, the real psychological aspects of it.” Whether you’re a fan of Evil Dead or just a fan of horror, that love is on full display.

Watch it for the Action

Watch Evil Dead Rise - But Why Tho

If a love of horror isn’t enough to make you watch Evil Dead Rise, then a love of action may be what does it. The film’s two leads, Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan get vicious, violent, and disgusting as the film goes on. For Sutherland, the monster mommy of the film, she embodies a violent creature instead of a traditional horror mommy as Deadite Ellie, and for that, she didn’t look to replicate it from stunt and creature performances instead of just acting ones. Sutherland explained, “I reference so many different things but decided to make my own scary mommy. I went more of a movement route and a creature route to get myself into character, so I don’t think I can honestly say I have inspiration from previous [horror] mothers. I don’t think anyone has seen someone like Ellie before.” And that’s true. Ellie is a force of violent nature in a terrifying way, and that’s because of how she throws her body into the action.

Read our spoiler-free review of Evil Dead Rise here.

But Sutherland isn’t the only woman having all the action fun in the film. Lily Sullivan, who plays Beth, a whole new raw and visceral final girl in the film and Ellie’s sister, also gets the chance to put her body on the line. In fact, for her, the action came first. Sullivan explains, “I feel like the physicality was the entrance to the emotional horror. Instead of entertaining that you’re about to die for six months straight, I got to find the body horror, find the scream for the fact that your sister is trying to murder you. The physical bodywork was the helper to getting into the emotional without losing my goddamn mind.”

Watch Evil Dead Rise for the Sonic Rollercoaster

Evil Dead Rise

And the final reason to watch Evil Dead Rise is that it’s an absolute sonic experience. While we know buckets of blood, or 9500 liters in this case, can make a horror movie, the sound drives that creeping fear over your skin. Bones breaking, flesh tearing, the sounds of horror, and Evil Dead are an art form, and this film knocks it out of the park. On the red carpet, Supervising Sound Editor Peter Albrechtsen about crafting the film’s sound, which featured digitized versions of the original Evil Dead film and entirely new and innovative sounds too. Albrechtsen explained, “It was a super exciting project to be a part of, especially for me. Evil Dead is like the Holy Bible of horror, so getting work on this film was amazing. So, we wanted to work off the history of the Evil Dead films, but at the same time, the director Lee Cronin was so involved with the sound.”

Albrechtsen elaborated on Cronin’s push for a new and unique horror experience, “Lee had so many crazy ideas with sound, and we just kept experimenting with everything. I worked on this film for eight months, and I think when you experience this film, we’ve done everything we can to make this a really crazy sonic roller coaster. I think people will both enjoy this and feel shocked at the same time in a lot of places. We’re taking all of these moves we know from the old Evil Dead movies and then just doing them in a very new way, very new setting, and with lots of new great sounds.”

A truly terrifying and violent addition to the franchise, Evil Dead Rise is one to watch on day one. At just over 90 minutes, it’s paced to the Deadite gods and doesn’t allow the audience to sit back and relax from the cold open to the very end. If you still need reasons to watch Evil Dead Rise, you can read our full spoiler-free review here, or you can just trust the cast and crew and get ready to bathe in blood.

Evil Dead Rise had its world premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival and can be seen in theaters nationwide April 21, 2023.

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