EXCLUSIVE: Interview With EVIL DEAD Director Fede Alvarez; Talks 3D, Extended Cut And More
Evil Dead has been a hit at the box office and with critics, so when I sat down to speak with director Fede Alvarez earlier this week, I asked him about that, the decision not to release the movie in 3D, deleted scenes, practical effects, casting Jane Levy, the after-credits scene, Doctor Strange and more!
Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to meet Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez to talk about the film ahead of its release in UK cinemas today. The horror remake has been a hit across the pond and there's no denying that it was a triumph for the Uruguayan filmmaker's first big screen outing. You can read my review of Evil Dead by clicking HERE. Check out the interview in full below and then be sure to sound off with your thoughts on his comments in the usual place!
How does it feel to have seen Evil Dead so well received by critics and fans?
It feels great. I always focus on the bad reviews anyway because I want to learn how to make better films. I am really very passionate about filmmaking in general and I want to be a better filmmaker every day. I try to. I try not to get too excited about great reviews and stuff, I just go and look at the bad ones to see what they're saying and what they're agreeing on so I can just make a better film next time. But I'm excited too! Definitely excited.
On a similar note, it's obviously been a huge success at the box office in America, so what's it like to see that?
It's been awesome. We never really expected that to happen. We knew that there was a big audience out there eager to watch the film and if you went online in the days before the opening, you can feel that it was a good energy and that people wanted to see the film. We never thought of beating Jurassic Park 3D or G.I. Joe in their second weekend. It was something we never thought was going to happen. It was very exciting and great to know that there are people out there who want to see this film.
Talking of 3D, is there any particular reason you decided not to go for that with this film?
I don't have a memory of watching a 3D horror movie that was exciting for me. I haven't seen many anyway. Or any! I know there's a bunch, but I just never saw them. For me, the good horror films I remember weren't in 3D at all. It was way before 3D existed, so that's why I think I was never tempted to go in that direction.
How did you find the right sort of balance with the gore when it came to thinking about the eventual rating?
There was never a rating problem. I wasn't really thinking about the rating when I was writing or filming it. I was being advised by the guys, you know, Rob, Sam and Bruce, when we wrote the first draft. They said it read as NC-17 and in America, that's the worst you can get. You have to be 18 or older or they won't play it in theatres. I guess it's different here in the UK, but back then, it was a big deal. If you get that, you're in big trouble. I was never thinking about it. I was just thinking about making the scariest film I could so I didn't want to think about the rating and when we cut the movie, that was something I had to deal with, but luckily enough we didn't have to get rid of anything. We just had to get rid of frames. Like some shots. Instead of exposing the audience for three seconds to a shot, we exposed them to two seconds and managed to get an R-Rated film.
So, does that mean there won't be a lot of deleted scenes on the Blu-ray?
There is, but not because of the gore. You always delete scenes just based on the story. You want to tell the sharpest story you can and, you know, this is a movie where pace is everything. You have to keep going and going and going. I think that what people really enjoyed from the film is that it's relentless and never stops. I think that's why we removed some scenes that we felt were just going slower and losing speed. It feels like I'm commenting on the deleted scenes, but there's definitely going to be an extended version at some point. We'll cut that and there'll be an extended version that comes out at some point.
Why was it so important to you to use so many practical effects? I know CGI would have helped, but they definitely made it a lot more frightening...
Definitely! You answered yourself! [Laughs] It's definitely scarier I think when you expose people to real things instead of CGI. CGI may be great for other genres. I mean, it's great in sci-fi, but when it comes dow to horror, I think it's better if you don't use CGI unless it's completely necessary. We did some visual effects, but it's different from CGI. It's not computer generated. It's just classic old school visual effects.
There's a lot of great props in the film, did you manage to get anything for yourself as a memento?
[Laughs] No, you know what, I just found out that Jane Levy has the chainsaw and I was so pissed off. I was like, 'How come she has the chainsaw and I don't have anything?' But I have some wardrobe...actually these boots! These are David's boots in the movie!
What was it that made Jane the right choice for you? What did you see in her?
She was really passionate about the idea of making the film and this is my first film, so when you're making your first film, if you really believe in filmmaking you have to do everything you can to make the best film possible. Jane made this her first leading role in a big movie and was in the same mindset, trying to make sure that she was making the best movie possible at least. That's why I think she was the best person and she was ready to go all the time and ready to go under the whole torture of making a film like this as an actor.
What would you say was the biggest challenge during filming?
I think many, but the decision to go CGI free was a tough one because there's a lot of things. On paper it sounds better making it CGI free until you're actually doing it and realise how hard it is to accomplish some effects. Just the cutting of the tongue was something that while we we were shooting looked so bad and so embarrassing and it looked completely fake as you were standing there watching. Then we cut it the right way and it came alive. Suddenly it's an amazing scene and a very shocking moment. I think trying to solve all the challenges with going non-CGI was the biggest challenge.
There's been a lot of talk about the after-credits scene, is there anything more you can tell us about it?
I guess what we're saying is that of course that this movie lives in the same mythology as the original films. It's almost the same timeline. It maybe happens 30 years after the originals. I think that scene at the end is telling you that Ash exists in this universe and that he's not a character who doesn't exist in this mythology. Hopefully we will see him in future Evil Dead movies.
I'm not sure if you've seen it, but there's a rumour that you're working with Marvel on Doctor Strange?
Yeah, I read that. That's not true. Making a Marvel movie would be something that I would really love, I'm a big fan, but we've never really discussed that project. I don't know where that came from.
You would be interested in a comic book movie though?
Yeah, definitely. Comic book movies, they have a lot of potential if you do it the right way. There's definitely a lot of fun things to do there, so we'll see. We'll see what happens in the future...
In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
Jane Levy as Mia
Shiloh Fernandez as David
Jessica Lucas as Olivia
Lou Taylor Pucci as Eric
Elizabeth Blackmore as Natalie
RELEASE DATE: April 18th, 2013
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