Of all the things associated with the Evil Dead franchise – from gory horror and slapstick comedy to Sam Raimi's virtuosic camera work – perhaps the most prominent is the iconic cabin in the woods setting.


Of the four previous films in the series, only the Middle Ages-set Army of Darkness did not take place in a secluded cabin – but for the new reboot Evil Dead Rise, writer/director Lee Cronin opted to set the bulk of the action in an alternative locale.

Although the film is bookended by sections in the more familiar setting, the main thrust of the action instead takes place on the top floor of an LA apartment block, and speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Cronin explained why he made this very deliberate choice.

"The fact that the movie had been rebooted in 2013 – I didn't want to reboot a reboot," he said. "I knew we weren't going to have Ash [Bruce Campbell's character] in the story, and I felt like going back to the cabin I was just going to tie myself up in knots in trying to make it original.

"So the furthest place I could think of from a cabin in the woods was the top floor of an apartment building in LA. So it felt like a natural place to go!"

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He added that another appeal of this setting lies in the fact the he likes telling stories about the domestic circumstances of families, and this allowed him to tackle themes that haven't previously been explored in the franchise.

"Those kinds of dangers are fertile places to allow me to freak out an audience, which is kind of what my job is," he said. "So once I was able to go there, I felt really comfortable that I could do something fresh. And that was definitely what the guys wanted, and what I wanted as well – so we were all hunting down the same thing."

Evil Dead Rise
Evil Dead Rise is out now in cinemas. StudioCanal

Raimi – who created the franchise and directed the original trilogy – is on board the film as an executive producer, and personally approached Cronin about directing the film after seeing his debut feature The Hole in the Ground.

And Cronin explained that although Raimi did have some words of advice for him, he largely left him to his own devices.

"I think there's kind of, you know, seeds of support all the way through," he revealed. "I do remember one early conversation that he said... 'Just make sure you use the Book [of the Dead] and make sure the Deadites are scary.'

"And you know I was in the nicest possible way cheekily, like, 'Of course, dude, I really want to make that happen.' But other than that the guys really wanted... Sam and the team kind of backed my vision and wanted me to go somewhere else with it to kind of wake up the monster and do something new.

"But there was always that support in the background if I needed to ask questions or seek advice on certain things."

Evil Dead Rise is now showing in UK cinemas. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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