There are plenty of directors floating around the horror circuit lately – Robert Eggers, Jordan Peele, Ari Aster, Rob Zombie, Mike Flanagan, and the list goes on. Horror seems to be more popular than ever. However, there is one director who should make a full return to the horror world, and with a recent return to directing after almost a decade, he just might. Sam Raimi, who made a name for himself in the horror world before directing superhero sagas, is showing interest in returning to all things horrible.
Raimi has always been a fan of the genre, telling Cinema.com in 2009:
I’ve always loved ghost stories. As a child, I loved to sit around the campfire or in a dark room at night and ask friends to tell scary stories. There’s a collective energy that runs through people listening and a great sense of anticipation if you have a good storyteller. There’s a dizziness you feel, like you want to scream, but you really shouldn’t. Then there is a big moment of release where the tension breaks and you, as the listener, scream in terror. Of course, it’s not only fun to listen to these stories, but it’s also fun to tell them. At least for me. I mean, everyone’s attention is so focused on what you’re saying. Everyone is so in tune with the story and it’s incredibly exciting. You all feel the cold together. You all feel the anticipation. You all scream together. It’s great to connect with people on this level.
Here’s why we hope his next film brings the filmmaker back to horror.
Where it all began: The Evil Dead & Darkman
Sam Raimi was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, where other talents like Keegan-Michael Key and Bruce Campbell live. He went to Michigan State University, where he studied English for three semesters before leaving to shoot his first film. The American filmmaker was able to make his first film, evil death, in 1981 after securing funding through various resources. The film’s budget was anything but abysmal as far as feature films go, at $375,000. Still, the film became a hit, earning $30 million worldwide, and became a cult phenomenon and a staple in any horror lover’s collection.
Raimi then entered the world of heroes with his film dark man (1990), which he wrote to pay homage to Universal’s horror films of the 1930s. The film starred Liam Neeson as a scientist left disfigured after an attacker who gains superhuman abilities and embarks on a quest for revenge against those who destroyed his life. The film was a commercial success and Raimi’s first major studio picture. The film’s success spawned two sequels, comic books, video games, and action figures, although Neeson did not reprise his role in the sequels.
The Hero Factor: Spider-Man and Doctor Strange
The famous director decided in the early 2000s to create Spider Man (2002), which was adapted from the Marvel comics. The film won Raimi much critical and commercial acclaim, grossing over $800 million worldwide. He then created the two sequels, Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3, which also grossed around $800 million each. After the third film was completed, Raimi planned to do two more sequels; however, he never found an idea or storyline he liked.
Recently in an article with rolling stonesaid Raimi as he reflected on directing the third Spider Man that it was a “painful experience” overall, and that he “wanted to make a Spider Man movie to redeem [himself] for that.” He said the idea of a fourth film motivated him because he wanted to “come out on a high note”. However, continuing the Spider Man The franchise quickly died out and Raimi continued to work on other projects.
After nearly ten years, Raimi has finally returned to the director’s chair with an incredible feat in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The 28th Marvel movie is considered the first formal MCU movie with horror elements. The film follows Doctor Strange as he works to fix a broken multiverse with the help of Scarlet Witch. The film offers fans a few surprises along the way.
Raimi commented CNET on how easy it was to make a superhero movie nearly two decades after its previous attempt. “The technological difference that really allowed me to work so effectively on this film was Zoom.” The director talked about how much easier it was to talk to everyone via Zoom calls and pitch more ideas to make a better movie. The filmmaker used his own techniques which he developed while working on previous films like diabolical death. “I was able to take those horror films that I did in my youth and what I had learned from them…I was able to apply [that stuff] in the scary sequences of this film.
Roots of Horror and Future Projects
While Raimi has no current films on the director’s list, the filmmaker has been an active producer on the upcoming feature. Evil Dead Risewhich will be released by HBO Max in 2022. His previous work on other horror films like Gift (2000) and drag me to hell (2009), which was his last horror venture, recently inspired him to eventually return to the horror circuit. “I wouldn’t want to go back to the budget of the first evil Dead. I mean, it was brutal. It was extremely difficult. But I would like to make something the size of Gift or A simple planthose low-budget movies that are all about the characters and the thrills,” Raimi said in a recent slashfilm interview. “A little intense horror would be great.”
The director certainly has his own flair for horror. the evil Dead franchise, which Raimi created with his friends Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell, redefined what horror could be. It captured fear of isolation, demonic powers, Lovecraft themes, and popularized the “cabin in the woods” subgenre. With this as a background for the director, as well as works like the English version of Grudge franchise, the idea of Raimi returning to horror is more than welcome.
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