Modern horror tales are bypassing drama to get to the horror quickly, says Evil Dead writer/director Fede Alvarez.
Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow, Alvarez cited The Exorcist as ‘the Bible of possession movies,’ and claimed that modern horror movies weren’t catering for the kind of slow-burning tension found in the 1973 classic.
He says: “If you think about The Exorcist, the first half of the movie is a mother concerned about her daughter. Great horror movies are all crafted like that. They don’t do it that way anymore because people are anxious to get to the horror quickly.”
There is certainly a familiar Regan-like quality to Evil Dead’s central character Mia, a young woman battling drug addiction whose first signs of possession are dismissed as the symptoms of withdrawal. Like Pazuzu taunting Karras, Deadite-possessed Mia hits brother David with a few home truths. According to Alvarez, the best baddies know all your dirty little secrets.
“At the end of the day what makes a demon powerful or a possessed person powerful? It’s that they know everything about you. I think that’s where the idea of possession comes from – when someone is an addict or an alcoholic.
“Possession like that turns a person into a monster, and that’s supposed to be your loved one – it’s an idea that scared the hell out of me. We thought this was a good place to start the story so it wasn’t going to feel like we were talking about one issue then something entirely different – it’s really the same theme.”
Evil Dead is in cinemas now. You can read our review here and buy Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead on Blu-ray for £8 at Amazon.co.uk.