Evil Dead Rise Director Lee Cronin Has Set Up His Next Horror Movie, And This Is Only Good News

Lee Cronin was a virtually unknown filmmaker just a few years ago. Now? It seems he's poised to be one of horror's chief new guiding voices. Case in point, not only is he bringing us "Evil Dead Rise" next month, which debuted to glowing reviews out of SXSW this year (read our review here), but he has lined up his next feature that will see him reunite with Warner Bros. and New Line. And this time, he's bringing us some sea-dwelling terror.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cronin has been tapped to direct and rewrite an original horror flick titled "Thaw." Jeremy Passmore ("San Andreas") penned the original version of the screenplay, which was sold to Gunpowder & Sky. Now, it's in Cronin's hands, demonstrating a pretty big show of faith in the director by the brass at Warner Bros. Van Toffler, David Gale, and Adam Goldworm are on board to produce the film. No word yet on who may star or just how soon production could get underway. As for the story at hand? A brief synopsis reads as follows:

Set years after the polar ice caps have melted and the sea levels have risen, the story centers on a group of survivors at sea searching for a new home. Their prayers are answered with the discovery of an inhabitable town until, that is, they encounter a new nightmare living just below the water's surface.

From Evil Dead to a nightmare at sea

Not only is that an intriguing premise, but there is much to be optimistic about in regards to "Thaw" — and it all has to do with Mr. Lee Cronin. While I am well aware that most of the world has yet to experience "Evil Dead Rise" yet, allow me to also agree with our review and say it absolutely delivers the goods. More than that, in my interview with Cronin at SXSW, the man demonstrated that he truly understands this franchise and how to tell a damn good story while also scaring the crap out of people. The man gets it, and there's a reason Sam Raimi picked him to direct the first "Evil Dead" movie in a full decade.

It's also important to remember that "Evil Dead Rise" was originally going to go directly to HBO Max. Yet, in large part due to the strength of the film that Cronin delivered, Warner Bros. pivoted to a full-blown theatrical release. The fact that they are entrusting him with a new, original horror film in advance of the release signals just how confident they are in his abilities. Let's also not forget that his debut feature "The Hole in the Ground," which was kind of buried by the pandemic, was largely met with rave reviews from those who did see it. Horror has a new, promising voice everyone, and we love to see it.

"Thaw" does not yet have a release date but "Evil Dead Rise" is set to hit theaters on April 21.