February 22, 2024

Last year, Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise put a fresh coat of (pleasingly gory) paint on the much-loved cult horror franchise. Now, there are rumblings anew for the 43-year-old series: a film from emerging horror star Sébastien Vaniček, whose Infested thrilled audiences at Fantastic Fest last year and will stream on Shudder later in 2024. But it won’t exactly be another Evil Dead sequel.

According to Deadline, which broke the news, Vaniček will co-write and direct “a new spin-off of the Evil Dead franchise for Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures,” with plot details still “under wraps.” This is an intriguing way to frame the new entry, which has already seen a trio of original films (1981’s The Evil Dead, 1987’s Evil Dead Rise, and 1992’s Army of Darkness, all directed by Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell); the 2013 reboot from Fede Álvarez, who has a new Alien movie coming this year; and the Starz TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, which also starred Campbell and ran from 2015-2018. And, of course, there was 2023’s Evil Dead Rise, which earned critical praise and went on to become the highest-grossing film in the series to date—and is more of a standalone, spinning out the mythology of Raimi’s creation with new characters and a new setting.

So what could “spin-off” mean, exactly? You have to assume some of the basic DNA of the series will be involved—the Neconomicon and Deadites seem likely suspects—but without knowing where or when the movie’s set, it’s hard to imagine what else might transpire. Vaniček’s festival breakout, Infested, is a contemporary creature feature set in a French high-rise (io9’s Fantastic Fest review called itAttack the Block, but with killer spiders,” and praised the tension and loopy energy the director brought to the story), but considering Evil Dead Rise’s own high-rise storyline, it seems safe to assume he’ll branch out into new territory.

What do you think the Evil Dead spin-off should be about, and do you think there’s any chance for a Campbell cameo? Let us know in the comments below.

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