‘Evil Dead Rise’ Timeline Explained by Bruce Campbell
Mar 24, 2023
Bruce Campbell reveals the key to understanding how Evil Dead Rise fits into the beloved horror franchise canon comes from Army of the Darkness, the third chapter in Sam Raimi’s original trilogy. In an exclusive interview for Collider, Campbell also told fans they shouldn’t expect to laugh at the upcoming movie, as Evil Dead Rise is the scariest chapter of the franchise.
Set to release this April, Evil Dead Rise is the next installment in the best horror franchise ever created, and maybe the only one that can claim to only have successes in its four-decade history. That means we are excited to see what writer and director Lee Cronin brings to the table for the sequel. Even more, since Campbell and Raimi remain attached to the project as executive producers, ensuring Evil Dead Rise still fits into the franchise’s mold. Still, the question remains about how Evil Dead Rise connects to the previous movies.
When I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Campbell, I asked directly about Evil Dead Rise’s place in the franchise’s timeline. His answer reveals exactly how Cronin’s movie can be part of the same continuity of Raimi’s trilogy, Fede Álvarez’s sequel, and the Ash vs. Evil series. More so, Campbell has the perfect answer to any possible canon contradiction between the many Evil Dead productions. According to Campbell:
“The only thing that connects everything now is the book [the Necronomicon]. There are three of these books out there, as we found out in Army of Darkness, so you never know where they’re going to pop up. So this story is really ‘where is the book now?’ The book is in this particular place in Los Angeles and a set of circumstances kind of release it into the world again, and it lands upon this one particular family in a gritty old high-rise building in Los Angeles. It’s cool, it’s a cool setting.”
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It’s all about the books, then. With three copies of the Necronomicon unleashed in the world, more than one unlucky group of characters can have misadventures with ancient demons. So, if we see the three books of Army of Darkness as the real deal, instead of decoys, every moving piece of the Evil Dead franchise can elegantly fit together.
How Evil Dead Rise Shifts the Tone of the Franchise?
While every Evil Dead movie is a gorefest wonder filled with blood and guts, the franchise has often embraced the campy energy of B-movies to deliver some goofy and highly entertaining moments. Nevertheless, as Campbell tells us, Cronin’s upcoming movie is a grim take on the franchise’s mythology. In fact, Campbell tells fans: “just don’t expect to laugh. I mean, [expect] anything but laugh. I fully expect you to be completely creeped out to the core of your being. Nothing you think is safe anymore.”
Campbell’s comments match the energy we felt in the trailer. And the way Campbell describes Cronin’s film only makes us more eager to watch Evil Dead Rise in theaters. In Campbell’s words:
“This is serious, very serious, very straight, very gory, very hard-hitting, very unrelenting. So it’s not going to be too many laughs other than uncomfortable laughs. We like to give the filmmakers enough rope to hang themselves, as they say, to experiment a little bit. Our job is to keep them in the sandbox, ‘The Evil Dead’ sandbox, a little bit. So Lee was able to sort of branch out from that. It’s no longer a cabin in the woods, you know (…). It’s an urban version with a family, a family where they go to turn on themselves, it’s sort of like a child’s worst nightmare.”
The forces of darkness will return to Earth when Evil Dead Rise hits theaters on April 21. You can expect to read more about our interview with Campbell soon.
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