It has been nearly 10 years since Evil Dead (2013) was released. Back then, the film stepped on my throat and did not let up for days. It stuck with me, so much happens in a short amount of time. The gore is great, the story works and there are plenty of call backs to the original trilogy. I loved Evil Dead immediately and while there are people out there who seem to hate this film, I don’t understand. I think because the silliness of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness were long gone. Evil Dead (2013) is a straight up horror film, just like the original was meant to be, a terrifying film.
Sure Evil Dead (2013) has all the trappings of a remake. Five friends in a cabin in the woods, being attacked by some unknown evil after reading from the Necronomicon. One gets possessed and trapped in the Cellar. But the story is different, ok, not unheard of, the core elements are there. There are no characters like the original…Well, Friday the 13th kind of did that too. Chainsaw, Blood and dismemberment, yes this is an Evil Dead remake…right???
No, it isn’t. In 2018, Evil Dead Director Fede Alvarez confirmed the events of the original films happened and this is in a different universe. I see that, but I’ll argue on a few points. These points make me rethink everything, including the original trilogy films. Most of this came to life thanks to Evil Dead Rise, which was released April 21st. Evil Dead Rise actually added new fuel to the Chainsaw to help me cut through the remake crap.
Some of my points do end up in “theory land”, but there are facts as well. Ash’s car the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 is at the cabin. To me it says, it’s been there for 30 years. Mia is seen sitting on the hood and you can take this as an Easter Egg or, dig a little deeper and believe there is some world building happening here. It could be both. In Evil Dead 2, Ash is sucked through a portal and he lands in Medieval times, I get that the car goes as well, but the book didn’t. What if in Army of Darkness, Ash screwed up the timeline and his Delta 88 from 1981’s The Evil Dead is the car in 2013’s Evil Dead. Meaning, when Ash arrives back to modern times, it is an alternate dimension, leaving the 1981 book and Delta 88 for for Mia and her friends. Over those 30 years the cellar could have changed to where the people we see in the opening of 2013 knew the cabin and book to be cursed.
This also causes the events of Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness and Ash vs Evil Dead to take place in an alternate dimension. Which would explain Ash being able to resist the cabin from Evil Dead 2 and why Evil Dead 2 feels very much like a remake of The Evil Dead (1981). Ash Williams fucked up the timeline. We can hear his damn voice in Evil Dead Rise.
Let’s talk about Evil Dead Rise for a minute. There is a vinyl Danny listens to with the explanation of what was happening with the book from Evil Dead Rise. The priest explains the events in 1923, which would make a bad ass Evil Dead movie. But one very interesting line in this recording. The book from Evil Dead Rise is one of three volumes of Natorum Demonto. SO THERE ARE THREE FUCKING BOOKS OF THE DEAD!
What does that mean? Well, Ash has a book, which was left at the cabin when Ash was sucked into the past, this is the “Ash” book, although, Ash vs Evil Dead changes this. The “Mia” from 2013 is in a cabin in the woods, no word on what happened to Mia. Then in Los Angeles, book three was discovered by Danny after the earthquake, which I’ll call “Beth’s” Book.
We have three Necronomicons in either 2 or 3 dimensions. Ash has volume 1, Mia volume 2 and Beth volume 3. Each book different, which could make the deadites look different and act different. When Ash goes to retrieve the Book of the Dead in Army of Darkness, there are three of them. But, he only needs one, the one he used in Evil Dead 2. The other 2 were left at the alter and discovered over the years.
And yet, I wonder if 2013’s Evil Dead was the start of a new trilogy. Evil Dead Rise most resembles the 2013 film and mentions the three volumes. Well, maybe there is another book locked away somewhere. It really feels like there are so many options, timeline options.
Timeline 1 – Ash vs Evil Dead
In this timeline there is a direct path from 1981 to 2018. This would include The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead 2 (1987), Army of Darkness (1993) and Ash vs Evil Dead (2018). That is it and that is all.
Timeline 2 – The Evil Dead
This is a trilogy of films beginning with The Evil Dead (1981) and ends with Evil Dead Rise (2023) as of now. The (2013) film is the middle part. In this, Ash dies in the woods after the Evil takes him at the end of The Evil Dead and the book of the dead got a cool new skin cover after the first was destroyed in the fire place. Then, 2013 happens, 32 years later and we see one of a few instances of possession in the opening of 2013 and of course the event of the film take place. That book, is our first volume. 10 years later volume 2 is discovered in Evil Dead Rise and those events lead to a rift and the third book is awakened, for the next film of course.
Timline 3 – Rise of the Evil Dead
Evil Dead (2013) events take place and then 10 years later the second book is discovered and the events of Evil Dead Rise take place and the next film will close the Rise trilogy.
Timeline 4 – The Eternal Dead
This one is all inclusive. From 1981 to 2023 and beyond. But the caveat, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness get pulled from the timeline after Ash messes up in the past. But Ash from 1981 lives through that film and survives and it leads to 2013, Rise, a forth film and a 5th and final film. Let’s call them Evil Dead Alive and Evil Dead Ruin. I don’t know.
So those are my theories. But I currently do believe nothing is off the table and Evil Dead 2013 is no remake. I think it is either a direct sequel to the original film as Fede Alvarez stated or the beginning of a modern Ashless trilogy. Whatever happens, this franchise refuses to have a weak entry and thus far, I love them all. Evil Dead (2013) is my favorite of the series, Jane Levy as Mia is a powerhouse performance and one of the best in horror history. It is a masterclass in horror. It is not a remake.
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Thanks for reading and check out or spoiler filled review of Evil Dead Rise.