Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Evil Dead Rise's Sam Raimi Wanted As Few Easter Eggs As Possible In The Film - Exclusive

Since the original version of the horror classic "The Evil Dead" debuted in theaters 42 years ago — and two more films, a remake, and television series have been released since — it shouldn't come as a huge surprise to the franchise's faithful that "Evil Dead Rise" includes some nods to the original films.

However, those Easter eggs, whether overt or hidden, run the risk of taking away from the new film's experience, so executive producer Sam Raimi said that he asked "Evil Dead Rise" writer-director Lee Cronin to pull back the reins a bit. And while Raimi didn't have an "actual number" of Easter eggs that appear in the latest chapter in the horror film series, he told Looper in an exclusive interview that the initial amount was too many.

"Lee was such a fan that I remember in the script state, some of my requests were to remove some of those Easter eggs when they would be noticeable to the fans too much, because I wanted Lee to have complete ownership of this film and take us on his fever dream," Raimi told Looper. "I didn't want him to wave at the audience saying, 'Hey, guys. Like you, I'm aware of the previous films,' and take them out of the moment. I was actually encouraging Lee to go with as few as possible."

Some of the Easter eggs are quite prevalent, like in scenes where one of the characters, Beth (Lily Sutherland), wields a chainsaw while caked in blood.  The weapon is a clear homage to Ash Williams' (Bruce Campbell) chainsaw hand from the franchise, which is responsible for much of the said blood.

Raimi says Evil Dead Rise is true to The Evil Dead

While "Evil Dead Rise" also has some line callbacks, prop acknowledgments, and other hidden references, including a Bruce Campbell Easter egg — Lee Cronin has promised $50 to whoever finds it — Sam Raimi said there's far more value in what the film itself is trying to say.

"We settled on the [Easter eggs] that are in there now, and I thought that would be enough," Raimi told Looper. "Because the whole thing [Lee is] doing is so true to 'Evil Dead,' he doesn't have to make special acknowledgments to the fans. The movie does. The movie says, 'I understand what makes this work and I'm going to double down on it. I understand that the fear is if your best friend or your girlfriend or your boyfriend will be possessed by these things and turn them against you, and how on earth would you stop them?'"

Raimi said Cronin captured the vibe of what he, Campbell, and Tapert did with their films

New in theaters, "Evil Dead Rise" is largely set in a dilapidated suburban high-rise. After an earthquake tears a hole in the building's foundation, one of single mother Ellie's (Alyssa Sutherland) three children, Danny (Morgan Davies), unearths a Necronomicon and some vinyl recordings in a space beneath it. Once the Necronomicon — aka "The Book of the Dead" — is opened and incantations from the recordings are played, Ellie becomes possessed by an invisible demonic force that terrorizes her family.

"Lee pushed that in a great way by having the center relationship be about a family where love is the basis of everything, and he dared go into that unholy ground of turning a mother against their children," Sam Raimi observed. "That was outrageous, and it's what Rob, Bruce, and I think is part of the 'Evil Dead' — not formula, but brand — which is getting to know these characters and seeing what they might be like wicked, possessed by these terrible spirits."

As such, Lee Cronin's approach turned out to be the biggest Easter egg that he needed to emphasize. "Everything he did was in the best way an acknowledgment of the best parts of the 'Evil Dead' franchise," Raimi said.

"Evil Dead Rise" is now playing in theaters.