Renegade Cinema took part in a conference call interview with Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez about his upcoming horror movie and the difficulties in remaking a beloved classic. Here is a look at what Alvarez had to say about his remake of Evil Dead.
Jane Levy was very impressive in her role in the film. How did you extract such a gruesome and grueling performance from your cast?
Thank you I mean everything starts of course in the pages. It is very hard for an actor to give a good performance if the script sucks, right? So everything starts in the pages and we put a lot of love in the characters in general, and we really care about giving them stories that weren’t necessarily related to the supernatural story. Each one of them they have their journey that is not only plot driven but character driven.
On the shooting itself, I think my job was kind of exposing them to real things all the time. That is why we decided to make the film 100% practical and not use the CGI and all that. It wasn’t just because I love horror films that look real, but also because I knew that, in a way, the actors were going to be exposed to real things. That is why I decided also to shoot the film in a real forest.
For instance, the first instinct is always to just build it on the stage and I thought that was going to be a betrayal to the spirit of the original film, so I felt we had to go and be in the woods and spend long nights in the woods. Everybody was freezing to death but that is the way I think the movie should be done.
And also for the actors at the end of the day, you know, the performances, they were not faking it all the time. You know when they are scared, sometimes I would surprise them with real jumps. Sometimes I kept them in the dark about some scenes and some moments of the movie so they could react in a natural way. I was really pushing them to have the real experience, you know because I knew that if they were having a real experience that will translate to their performances.
After coming from a do-it-yourself short film background with limited budgets, talk about how you dealt with having a large budget on your first feature length film, a budget that was even bigger than the original Evil Dead.
Well, it is never a problem to have a big budget. But even when there is a big budget, we have to be very resourceful and have to come up with ideas to be able to make the movie look even bigger. I am a big fan of movies, but I am an even bigger fan of filmmaking itself. I fell in love since I was very young and I always loved to learn the craft, every aspect of it, not as a director, I never thought of myself as a director, it’s just like I was doing everything that was film related.
I was able to do music for films in the past, I even played the piano on the soundtrack of this film in some parts, so it is something that I love, every aspect of the filmmaking – except acting, I would never be able to do that. The rest, I think I did it all. So I think it was really helpful that, when it came down to time to make the movie, it just helps if the director knows a little bit of everything, so when it came down to time to do visual effects and all that, that is a field that I know so it really helped me a lot.
It makes it very easy sometimes. You ask how it is to come from a short, a $200 short, to a movie like it is hard. My answer is that the hard part is to make a $300 alien invasion movie with no money and nothing. That is the hard part. Then when you have the resources to make something, it is always awesome and its always a pleasure in Hollywood to have the chance to be surrounded by amazing actors and a great team.