“Evil Dead” conquered the box office last weekend, banking $26 million worth of scared moviegoers.
And while fans squirmed through 90 minutes of over-the-top gore and unsettling imagery, there was no one more uncomfortable with “Evil Dead” than its star Jane Levy.
“It was the most horrible experience of her entire life, shooting this move,” said Bruce Campbell, “Evil Dead” producer and star of the original 1981 cult horror classic on which it’s based. “And I was so glad to hear that, because it meant that the character went through hell, and the audience loves it when characters go through hell.”
Levy, best known as the redheaded star of the ABC comedy “Suburgatory,” didn’t share Campbell’s appreciation of her misery.
“It was the worst time of my life,” Jane told writers gathered at last October’s New York Comic Con. “I didn’t have to do much. I was so uncomfortable, in so much makeup. I looked disgusting. I was freezing cold and tired and sad and I wanted to go home.”
Directed by Fede Alvarez, “Evil Dead” is the story of Mia (Levy), a heroin addict who absconds to a remote cabin in the woods with four friends in an effort to kick her habit cold turkey. Instead, the group of 20-somethings discovers a mysterious book and unwittingly unleashes a powerful demon that possesses each houseguest. In the end, only one of them will survive a showdown with the dead.
“From the beginning, it’s really a story about Mia’s survival,” Levy explained. “Survival from her own demons, and then survival from the actual demons. You’ll see if she wins or not.”
“It’s so heavy. It’s so, so grim,” the 23-year-old starlet said. “I did think, sometimes, can there be any humor here? Who just wants to watch this most depressing thing in the whole entire world? But I think there’s so many other elements. Fede has created a really beautiful world. The film looks amazing and, again, I just sort of had to trust them, because it’s really their movie and I’m just a puppet.”Unlike the original “Evil Dead,” which was a campy low-budget flick directed by the undiscovered Sam Raimi (now a producer), the remake is a serious horror film for adults, rife with blood, guts, death and violence. Campbell was quick to point out the shift in tone, perhaps in an effort to quell the expectations of his rabid fans, but Levy confessed she struggled with the morose themes within the movie.
Raimi, Campbell and Alvarez aren’t going to stop pulling the strings anytime soon – the filmmakers have announced that a second installment of the “Evil Dead” reboot is in the works with a release date to be determined. Will Levy’s character live to see the sequel? You’ll have to see the movie to find out, but it’s safe to say the actress wasn’t exactly keen on the idea.
“I don’t think I ever need to do a horror film again,” she said.