‘Evil Dead Rise’ Director Reveals His Four Sequel Ideas and the Origin of That Disgusting Cheese Grater Scene

This post contains spoilers for “Evil Dead Rise.”

“Evil Dead Rise” director Lee Cronin has made his enthusiasm for the horror franchise known over the course of the past weeks, with each interview featuring him taking delight in recounting the amount of gore and severed limbs he had to wrangle on set. It’s no surprise that when asked about the future of the franchise, Cronin is full of ideas. In a conversation with Variety, Cronin breaks down our biggest burning questions after seeing “Rise.”

Do you have any ideas for sequels?

I certainly do. I didn’t want to bait it for sequels necessarily, even though the ending could be interpreted that way. But the ending for me was closing the loop back to the beginning. The way the story is told, I’ve got four places I’d like to look at in terms of where to go… I’m excited for the potential of what could be next and and really hope that I can be involved in in future chapters.

  • The story behind the Book of the Dead: “We have history in this film and that’s presented through the vinyl. So there’s there’s a story to be told there. It’s not by accident.”
  • Beth takes her chainsaw on the road: “Somebody that survives picks up the chainsaw at the end and where they might go.”
  • The apartment building: “There’s also the aftermath in this building and who encounters that. And I’ve often thought, ‘What happens when the cleanup crew shows up?’”
  • Back to the woods: “Because of the opening and the closing, there’s that continuation of how this evil has a gate. That brings us back into that forest context, which excites me because I love that I broke the mold, but wouldn’t it be fun now if I went back to the cabin in the woods. It could be a cool journey.

With all the gore in the film, how did “Rise” possibly get an R-rating? Did you have to cut any content to escape an NC-17 rating?

I was surprised too. What’s interesting about about that, just to kind of contextualize it from another angle, is in a lot of places in the rest of the world, like here in Ireland or in the U.K., “18” is what our age restriction is here, which means no one under 18 can watch it. So I love the existence of the “R” rating, because it puts the responsibility on a grown-up to determine if they want to bring a seven-year-old to watch this movie, which I find pretty wild and will probably happen.

We did have to make a couple of tiny tweaks, but very small ones. Also in approaching this movie, because it’s ‘Evil Dead,’ I knew I had to be brave, so I tried to not second guess anything and think ‘Is that too much?’

Probably we got the rating because it’s entertaining, not mean-spirited. Not to suggest that this softens the edges, but there’s levity there and an outlandishness to the horror. It’s by no means cartoonish, like ‘Evil Dead 2,’ but it’s quite unbelievable in its spectacle. That helped us. Had the movie got banned, that would have driven some press as well, but I’m glad it didn’t.

What was the inspiration between that disgusting cheese grater scene?

It was necessity. It was the hunt for something different. I wrote this movie right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, so I was locked in my apartment writing this script on my bed with an evil force outside my door, a.k.a. COVID-19. Being trapped in that space gave me a lot of time to look around at things. I always wanted there to be a fight in a kitchen. Being Irish, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where people congregate. I knew I wanted there to be this domestic showdown in that kitchen and thought about the different things that could be used in there. It was just one of those moments where I thought, ‘I don’t think I’ve seen anybody use a cheese grater before, or certainly not in a horror context.’

Once I landed on it, it’s like our version of the dancing M3GAN. This is the ‘Evil Dead Rise’ thing, the damn cheese grater. Even last night we had the European premiere of the movie here in Dublin in a beautifully-dressed cinema. In the party area with all the tables, there were these beautiful flower displays that were coming out of cheese graters. I’ve also got a cheese grater tattoo on my arm now, which I did right at South by Southwest in a moment of tomfoolery. There’s no escaping the cheese grater.

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