Evil Dead Rise Has A Gnarly Story, Even For An Evil Dead Movie

Hail to the queens, baby. A new entry in the beloved "Evil Dead" franchise inches closer, and today we've learned that women and children get in on the mayhem. "Evil Dead Rise" is the latest on a collection of movies first dropping in 1981. Starring Bruce Campbell as the undead-battling Ash, Sam Raimi's gruesome "Evil Dead" was a scrappy production that eventually landed on the radars of the distributor for "Night of the Living Dead," the Cannes Film Festival, Stephen King, and Fangoria magazine, becoming a sleeper hit. It spawned two feature sequels, "Evil Dead II" and "Army of Darkness," and a gnarly reboot from Fede Alvarez in 2013. "Ash vs. Evil Dead" kept the story going in a television series format for three seasons, and now "The Hole in the Ground" director Lee Cronin teams up with original "Evil Dead" producer Robert G. Tapert and his production company with Raimi, Ghost House Pictures, to bring a new tale of the evil and the dead to HBO Max.

Speaking to German genre outlet Blair Witch.de, Campbell gives an update on "Evil Dead Rise":

"It's [about] a single mom who now has to deal with this book. These days it's more about the book. That book gets around. Passed along, people try and get rid of it, they try to bury it or destroy it and they really can't. So this book just keeps popping up, so really it's just another story of what happens if this book appears in this particular group of people's lives and how it intersects. This family is not the same at the end of the movie. They're gutted. The whole family is destroyed. These people get possessed. Brothers and sisters, sons, daughters, you know. So yeah, it's a family affair, this one's a family affair. They're all related in this one. I think that makes the possession and killing your siblings – things like that, even harder. Because in the original Evil Dead, there was only one brother/sister combo, Ash and his sister Sheryl. The rest were just friends. Now this is all, they're all related in this household. Much more excruciating."

From Viking Queen to Potential Deadite Victim

"Evil Dead Rise" is written and directed by Lee Cronin ("The Hole in the Ground") and stars Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, and Nell Fisher. While Campbell is not expected to appear in "Rise," both he and Sam Raimi serve as executive producers, with Tapert producing. Production is a three-way effort between Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, and Ghost House Pictures. The synopsis, per New Line:

In "Evil Dead Rise," a road-weary Beth pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie (Sutherland), who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped L.A apartment. The sisters' reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie's building, giving rise to flesh-possessing demons, and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival as she is faced with the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable.

Shooting on the film wrapped in October, and by then it had already been teased that the story would move to a less rural setting — by Bruce Campbell, in true Bruce Campbell fashion. "The Evil Dead are going to f*** up a city this time," he blurted to a crowd at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater last year. 

Not only is the legacy franchise doing away with the cabin-in-the-woods conceit, but they are keeping things among family rather than friends. As Campbell points out, the original Raimi films involved friends, lovers, and total strangers being thrown into the mix with Deadites, but never a mom and her young children. Knowing how these stories play out once the Necronomicon starts flipping its pages, somebody's got to go. As a person who loves movies with a mean streak, there's potential here for an extra level of viciousness on top of the buckets of blood fans have come to expect from a dance with the "Evil Dead."