How Evil Dead Rise Pays Tribute To One Of The Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made

In horror, the greats are the greats for a reason, so it's always fun when new films that excite us call back to the incredible genre movies that came before them. With that in mind, it brings me such pleasure to inform you that there are totally a few "The Shining" references in the new "Evil Dead Rise" — and if the awesome reviews haven't made you want to see it yet, this will.

But before I walk you through what "Rise" has in store for eagle-eyed Kubrick fans, it's important to note that, interestingly enough, one of the references wasn't actually designed to be a reference at all. Cronin explained to Far Out Magazine in a recent interview, "There's an obvious 'Shining' reference, but it wasn't created to reference 'The Shining.' It was created for a plot function and a need, but then I was like, 'Wow, that's pretty 'Shining”. And then people got really buzzed by that"

I'd say that's an appropriate call for buzz, wouldn't you? It's a great coincidence that slots in really well with the film's story. Allow me to walk you through the Easter egg Cronin references, the elevator scene.

The elevator scene

In "Evil Dead Rise," Beth is visiting her sister Ellie when Ellie ends up getting possessed by those pesky Deadites. Later, as Beth and Ellie's youngest daughter, Cass, attempt to make their way into the film's third act, they finally — after several failed attempts to access a fire escape or stairs — have success with getting the elevator to turn on, shut its doors, and seemingly work. However, the buttons start to fill with blood, and the elevator cabin itself follows suit. It's a harrowing moment for the characters because their only escape is the escape hatch at the top of most elevators ... but the monster that has formed out of Ellie and her other kids Bridget and Danny is waiting for them outside the door.

That said, the elevator ends up crashing to the first floor of the high-rise after filling over its capacity with two humans and a ton of blood. When it hits the ground, it bursts open and expels all of that pent-up blood all over the lobby, much like when the elevator in "The Shining" gives way to a river of blood in the Overlook Hotel. It's a great plot device for "Evil Dead Rise," so it's pretty cool that Cronin ended up seeing the similarities after the fact. Great minds tend to think alike, especially in horror, but this is one convenient coincidence that will go down in infamy in the genre. It's smart and effective, and a true homage in every sense of the word.

Ellie's bathroom

The second, more subtle homage to "The Shining" in "Evil Dead Rise" comes in the form of production design. The bathroom of Ellie's family apartment is a memorable setting for the film because it's the one where the family really starts to realize she's something she shouldn't be and she fully comes into her Deadite form—shortly before she starts to completely wreak havoc.

The apartment's bathroom bares a strong resemblance to the Room 237 bathroom that Jack Nicholson's Jack Torrance explores during a particularly pivotal scene in "The Shining." That bathroom is extremely memorable for its highly stylized design and pastel green walls and ceramics, and Ellie's bathroom shares similar qualities. The room is filled with similarly shaded green tile, and it also features a similar cut-out shower tub on the back wall of the room. It also has some yellow wallpapering, which is similar to the yellow trimmings throughout the bathroom.

It's definitely a more understated way to honor the Kubrick film, but I love it almost more than the gnarly elevator scene because it gives a nod to something that is so key to Kubrick's films: the design work. Half of what we remember so strongly about the auteur's work is visual and stylistic, and the Room 237 bathroom is no exception. It's memorable because of the excellent scene that takes place there, sure, but that memory is compounded by how unforgettably notable the room itself is. It's a great way for Cronin, who also told Far Out Magazine that "The Shining" was one of his top three horror movies, to throw in another nod without overdoing it. 

"Evil Dead Rise" is now in theaters.