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Why Ellie From Evil Dead Rise Looks So Familiar

Let's face it, looking through a peephole to see the bloody face of what used to be your mother grinning menacingly at you — one of the most memorable shots of "Evil Dead Rise" — is probably enough to make anyone lose control over their bowels. Without a doubt, Ellie, the mom-turned-Deadite played by Alyssa Sutherland, is the most memorable part of "Evil Dead Rise." Just about all promotional materials have rightly played up the mother angle. Considering that the movie plays more like a possession movie than, say, a zombie flick, with a relatively small cast and confined to an apartment building setting, the weight of the movie essentially fell on the actor's shoulders.

For her part, Sutherland found playing Ellie to be quite fun, and took to the physically demanding part quite eagerly. "She's unlike any other monster we've seen, especially female monster," Sutherland told Entertainment Weekly. "The dialogue that she has is so wonderful that, oddly enough, and I don't know what it says about me, but I found it kind of easy!"

That being said, when it comes to horror, Alyssa Sutherland isn't exactly a newcomer. The Australian model and actor has been appearing on-screen for more than 20 years. One of her earliest credits is in the "The Devil Wears Prada" as one of Miranda Priestly's (Meryl Streep) many office assistants. She's quite difficult to spot, given that she's always in the background and racing around in a panic. But there are plenty of roles where fans can easily see Sutherland working her magic on-screen.

She played Claire in Don't Look Up

Reading that headline, you very well may be racking your brain to remember where exactly you saw Alyssa Sutherland in the large ensemble cast of Adam McKay's Oscar-nominated 2021 film of the same name. So we'll stop you right there. This particular "Don't Look Up" was released in 2009 and is of a very different fare. It also shows that "Evil Dead Rise" wasn't Sutherland's first time around the horror block.

2009's "Don't Look Up" is an English-language remake of the 1996 Japanese horror film, "Ghost Actress." The original was directed by Hideo Nakata, who would go on to make the hugely influential "Ring." There are a lot of similarities between "Don't Look Up" and "Ring," particularly regarding vengeful dead people on film. Nakata was also involved in the English-language remake, which was directed by acclaimed Hong Kong director Fruit Chan.

Briefly, the plot concerns a film crew, helmed by director Marcus Reed (Reshad Strik), attempting to finish a horror film that was abandoned eighty years prior after its original director, Béla Olt (Eli Roth), vanished. It soon becomes apparent that Reed isn't fully stable, partly due to his growing obsession with the original film, and partly from the strain of his ex-girlfriend Claire's (Sutherland) struggle with cancer. A series of gruesome accidents take place on set, and the crew's grip on sanity quickly vanishes. Sutherland's character, Claire, only intermittently shows up in the plot, though it is revealed in a twist at the film's climax that she has actually played a key role in its terrifying events. 

She played Aslaug on Vikings

Alyssa Sutherland's character is quite key to the overall story of History's drama series "Vikings." She played Aslaug, the love interest and eventual second wife of Ragnar (Travis Fimmel). As it happens, Aslaug also does some pretty terrible things to his first wife, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), on her way to the top. Like the mythical character she's based on, she claims to be the daughter of the legendary Brynhildr. As in the legend, Ragnar eventually fights his way to becoming a Viking king, which in turn, of course, means that Aslaug becomes his queen. 

Sutherland played the character in the first four seasons of "Vikings," appearing in a total of 35 episodes. She and Ragnar are both slain at the end of Season 4 by Lagertha, as she rises to become queen of Kattegat. 

Speaking with IGN about her departure from the series, Sutherland appeared to have some mixed feelings. Mentioning first that her character received a good amount of disdain from the show's fans, Sutherland still was shocked at Aslaug's death. However, this was only because she thought she was going to get killed off much earlier.

"Coming in as someone who upset some fans and knowing how people felt about Aslaug and how they had put Aslaug in this position of 'she's done all this horrible stuff to Lagertha,' I really didn't think she'd last very long at all," Sutherland said.

She played Eve in The Mist

Spike's reimagining of Stephen King's "The Mist" isn't the only screen adaptation the novella has had. Many people will probably also think of Frank Darabont's 2007 film adaptation, telling the story of a town enveloped in a thick fog filled with gruesome Lovecraftian creatures. Though both take liberties with the original text, the series strays the most. Whereas, like the book, the film takes place mostly in the grocery store of Bridgton, Maine, the series hones in on a few different spaces in the town. The series also changes the town's name to Bridgeville. 

However, perhaps the most major difference between the series and the source material is that the mist isn't filled with large eldritch monsters, but rather apparitions from people's pasts. This includes a person's guilt or fear, tormenting the survivors and driving them to madness. One of those spaces is the local mall, in which both Eve Copeland — played by Alyssa Sutherland — and her daughter Alex (Gus Birney) are trapped. Meanwhile, her husband, Kevin (Morgan Spector), is across town at the police station. 

Interestingly enough, though Sutherland's resume seems to clearly reflect that she is creating a niche for herself in horror, she isn't the biggest horror fan herself. Speaking with Scream Magazine about her work on "The Mist," she said, "I'm actually really wimpy when it comes to horror. I'm certainly aware of Stephen King's work and saw snippets of it when I was very young and it scared the bejeezus out of me... I like being able to sleep at night."