Evil Dead Rise Director Reveals What Happens Next to Beth Right After the Ending
Exclusive: The movie might not have a post-credit scene, but director Lee Cronin knows what's next for Beth right after the credits roll on Evil Dead Rise.
This Evil Dead Rise article contains spoilers.
Evil Dead Rise, the fifth installment of the horror series, opened in second place in the domestic box office this past weekend, pulling in an impressive $23.5 million, and $40 million worldwide, which would suggest there’s more boom left in the franchise boomstick.
And though writer/director Lee Cronin says he “was never trying to bait for sequels,” he nonetheless sets up a few story ideas should he return to the world of deadites and Necronomicon created in 1981 by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, who starred as Ashley J. Williams.
In a recent episode of Den of Geek‘s paranormal pop culture show Talking Strange (available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube), Cronin — as well as stars Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan — spoke to host Aaron Sagers about the film’s ending and what happens immediately following that scene.
As you’ll recall, at the end of the movie, our hero Beth (Sullivan) takes on the deadite abomination that was once her sister Ellie (Sutherland) in the basement of the Los Angeles apartment building. After uttering the classic “Come get some” in a hero pose, Beth forces the deadite thing into a wood chipper and saves her young niece Kassie (Nell Fisher). Beth and Kassie depart the building, but not before she pauses to pick up the chainsaw and takes it with her.
Of course, directly following this moment, we learn that Jessica (Anna-Marie Thomas), who we first saw possessed at the cabin in the flash forward opening scene, was a resident of the building in which the rest of the movie takes place. We watch as Jessica is overtaken by the evil dead, setting up the movie’s gruesome intro at the lake.
Cronin tells Talking Strange that he already knows what happens next: “The very next scene after the movie ends is in a rundown Los Angeles police precinct not far from the building,” the director says. “There’s a guy building his bologna sandwich behind the counter as you enter. From the angle of his sandwich we see this door swinging open and closing. He doesn’t even bother looking up until you see this big bloody chainsaw dropping on the counter. He looks up to see Kassie and Beth, and Beth says, ‘they’re all dead.’”
“There’s a reason Beth picks up the chainsaw in the movie, and it’s not for her story to end when the credits roll,” Cronin teases. “In my mind, I definitely left open two, three, four avenues of story…Equally, there is also a world where the clean up crew get a call and arrive at that building, and go, ‘What the hell has happened here?’ and get pulled into that world.”
Cronin says working with production company New Line Cinema was a delight because of its reputation in the horror space, and rather than pushing for him to set up sequels, it only encouraged him to “make a great movie and see where that goes.” Additionally, the director speaks about the support he received from the trio of Raimi/Tapert/Campbell after being handpicked to write and direct the film.
He says he was told to “make sure there’s scary deadites, and use the book” — aka the Naturom Demonto, aka Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, aka Book of the Dead. Beyond that, the team wanted Cronin to do something different and “take it somewhere new.”
To do so, Cronin relocated the action to an urban domestic setting in a rundown Los Angeles apartment building. Rather than teens, it’s a family-centric story. However the director has also found a way to weave together the original film, the remake/sequel Evil Dead II (1987), 1992’s Army of Darkness, and the 2015–2018 TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, as well as the Fede Álvarez-directed “re-imagining” Evil Dead (2013).
Cronin points to the scene in Army of Darkness when Ash encounters the three books bound in flesh. That stuck with him, and he wrote with the idea that all three exist in the same universe. There’s one in Raimi’s films, another in Alvarez’s, and a third here.
“They might have slightly different edges to them in terms of what they can do, and there’s a little subtle change or two to the incantations,” Cronin says.
Further, though Campbell does not appear on screen as Ash, he has an audio cameo on the old phonographs discovered by Danny (Morgan Davies). During Danny’s playback of the records, the audience hears the priests reading from the Book of the Dead, only for another character voiced by Campbell to warn them against it, shouting, “It’s called ‘the Book of the Dead‘ for a reason!”
In Cronin’s vision, this is the voice of a time-displaced Ash.
So if Evil Dead Rise’s successful opening weekend leads to a sequel, then Cronin has set up a lot of connective tissue to link together the entire franchise. And it certainly seems like Cronin is ready to go get some more.
Evil Dead Rise is in theaters now.
For more from this conversation, and to check out other paranormal personalities, celebrities, and authors talking about the the unexplained and high strangeness, subscribe to Talking Strange on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube, hosted by Aaron Sagers of Netflix’s 28 Days Haunted and discovery+/Travel Channel’s Paranormal Caught on Camera.