DVD Release DateBruce Campbell discusses Evil Dead Remake's darker tone, saying "I don't need...

Bruce Campbell discusses Evil Dead Remake’s darker tone, saying “I don’t need people fainting in the theater”

  • Bruce Campbell favors the comedic elements of older Evil Dead films over the more serious tone of recent movies.
  • Campbell thinks that filmmakers should choose the direction of the franchise and not try to replicate the original films.
  • While some fans may miss Ash Williams and the humorous horror, Campbell confirms those days are behind him, but the franchise is far from over.

Reboots and remakes are common in the world of cinema, and sometimes they are a welcome addition. This year’s return of The Evil Dead franchise with Evil Dead Rise continued the darker direction set by Fede Álvarez’s 2013 remake. Although the change of setting to a suburban apartment block and Lee Cronin’s take on dark, supernatural violence has been successful, some fans miss Bruce Campbell’s comedic portrayal of Ash Williams.

In a recent interview with Comicbook.com, Campbell discussed the shift in focus from the “splatstick” approach of Sam Raimi in Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, as well as the subsequent TV series Ash vs Evil Dead, to the more serious tone of the newer films. Campbell expresses that while he is happy with how the new movies are turning out, he will always prefer the comedic elements of the older Evil Dead films. He said:

“I like it a little lighter, I’ll always take the Army of Darkness way to go. My granddaughter, she’s 8, I think could see that movie. It’s talking skeletons, for God’s sake. Evil Dead’s a little grim, I like the filmmaking, Sam’s a really good filmmaker, there’s some great filmmaking sequences in there. A man alone in a cabin, really cool sequences, but I don’t know, I wouldn’t wanna get completely stuck in that world,… With Evil Dead 2, we started to add gags, like slapstick. We wound up calling it ‘splatstick.’ Only because I don’t need people fainting in the theater, I’m an entertainer. I want people to scream [peeking from behind their hands]. Sort of laughing and screaming at the same time.”

Evil Dead franchise fans can be split into two groups: those who love the pure horror of Sam Raimi’s original 1981 film and the recent reboots and others who appreciate the comedic Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams and the humorous horror that followed. However, Campbell insists that he and Raimi do not seek to recreate what made their Evil Dead movies unique when working with new filmmakers for the franchise. He added:

“We let the filmmakers decide. Sam puts it on their plate. Fede Álvarez wanted to do a straight version because the original Evil Dead is sort of melodramatic. [Evil Dead Rise director] Lee Cronin, his background is drama, I don’t think he wanted any winking at the camera. And we don’t ever try to put these guys beyond their comfort zone.”

While some fans may long for more of Ash Williams fighting Deadites with chainsaws and wisecracks, Campbell has made it clear that those days are behind him. Those fans will have to be content with revisiting the older films in the franchise. For everyone else, there’s no doubt that we haven’t seen the last of the Evil Dead.