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Sunday Scaries: The ‘Evil Dead’ Franchise Has Proven to Be a Bloody Good Playground for Directors

The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, we’re discussing the Evil Dead franchise and how the filmmakers who have helmed the movies really do get to mess around in a bloody playground.

For decades now, the Evil Dead movies have been gleefully bringing the gore to, well…gorehounds. From its very indie beginnings with The Evil Dead, all the way to this weekend’s Evil Dead Rise, directors have seen the series as an avenue to have some carnage-filled fun. Truly, it might be the horror franchise that lets a filmmaker most run wild.

Warner Bros.

This most recent installment certainly was no exception. In my Evil Dead Rise review, I had this to say, in part:

Filmmaker Lee Cronin makes this a real calling card. Cronin has a truly effective sense of tension, how to use gore, and how to ratchet up the terror. It’s not just his direction, which uses plenty of old-fashioned blood and guts, but his writing as well, which invests you in the family dynamics. Evil Dead Rise works way better than you’d expect, with Cronin a bit reason why. I can’t wait to see what he does next in the genre.

Starting with Sam Raimi, the initial trilogy of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness evolved into more and more of a horror/comedy hybrid. Now, there was always blood and gore, along with interesting camera movements, but Raimi really made sure to show you all the fun he was having. There’s a reason what he started has resonated for so long. He hit on a very satisfying mixture, one that others have copied in all shapes and sizes.

The eventual remake, Evil Dead, saw Fede Alvarez chosen to take over for Raimi. Alvarez really went all-in on the carnage, making for the least humorous installment to date, but with a real flair for the gore. The director has continued to showcase those skills outside of this property, but as a calling card here, he really took the bloody ball and ran with it.

Now with Evil Dead Rise, it’s Lee Cronin‘s turn. Cronin homages Raimi here and there, but he’s really doing his own thing, most notably with the emotional stakes he adds on to the blood and guts. As mentioned above, he does a lot with this, while never skimping on the viscera. It’s a good mix of old and new, which is partly why the film is already proving to be so popular.

My point here? This series is really a great place for a director to go to town with the carnage. Creatively, it offers up what few other horror properties can. When you see an Evil Dead flick, you know that the person helming is about to unleash something fun and unique on you. Here’s hoping that we don’t see that change anytime soon…

Stay tuned for another Sunday Scaries installment next week!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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