When Fede Alvarez created a bloody and fresh take on Evil Dead, he pulled off the impossible: Rebooting a classic in a way that horror fans adored. Following up from his insanely successful, blood-soaked reimagining of Sam Raimi's 1981 masterpiece is Alvarez's Don't Breathe, one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2016.
Movie Pilot were lucky enough to chat with Alvarez at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, and not only did he turn out to be a super-interesting bloke, but a lovely one to boot. Never meet your idols? Pah!
Movie Pilot: What's scarier — Don't Breathe or Evil Dead?
Fede Alvarez: "I think 'Don't Breathe' is scarier because it's all about suspense. 'Evil Dead' is more in your face, shock and gore — that's what that movie was about. We were really set up to do the most gory mainstream film we could do, gore doesn't really go into mainstream and that's what we were trying to do and we were really happy that the studio decided to spend money and give us time and room to create a well-crafted gory movie. Usually gore doesn't go with 'well-crafted'; it goes with low-budget Z kinda movies.
"Depending on who was watching you could say it was terrifying, but this one goes to a more classic way of scaring, which is through suspense. Whatever's happening in your mind and you're anticipating. ... I believe nobody makes those movies any more because everything is mostly about ghosts and jump scares, which is great, but we really went back to classic horror in a way. ... It's about suspense and that slow, creeping shot.''
MP: How did you think of the blind antagonist in Don't Breathe?
FA: "When you have your main characters jumping through a window and getting inside someone else's house. ... They can shoot you, they can kill you. ... It's a very scary premise. He might not see, but all of his other senses are so powerful. ... He's definitely hunting them down."
MP: Will we ever see Evil Dead 2?
FA: "There's always a chance. ... We're all really good friends. ... What are we gonna do next on 'Evil Dead,' on that world. ... There might be room there at some point to do what I want to do, which is a mash-up of the two worlds, between the original and my 'Evil Dead.'"
Alvarez adds that Starz series Ash Vs Evil Dead has given the Evil Dead world a new generation of fans, so "now there might be a better opportunity to combine those worlds."
MP: What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
FA: "As long [horror sequels are] good, you can make as many as you want. ... But to make something good you need to keep everyone interested. ... Usually those things tend to go downhill."
28 Days Later
FA: "A good director trying to make a good film in a genre world ... can make you believe that something like a zombie exists in the real world."
Alvarez also has a soft spot for schlocky 1981 Oliver Stone horror The Hand, which is a great watch for a dark, stormy night with a bunch of friends.
MP: Who are your favorite current horror directors?
FA: "James Wan is one of those guys I really admire, trying to craft really good movies. ... A cinematic experience, the best photographers ... [more than] a bunch of scares and a good trailer."
- Dead Silence
- The Conjuring
The Conjuring 2
- A Horrible Way to Die
- You're Next
- The Guest
Blair Witch, a.k.a. The Woods
- The Innkeepers
- The Sacrament
- The House of the Devil
- In a Valley of Violence
Which of Fede Alvarez's modern horror directors do you like the best?
MP: If you had $1 billion, what kind of film would you make?
FA: "I was unofficially approached to do the new 'Halloween' and the new 'Friday the 13th,' but I turned them down because I thought it was hard to do something new, to bring something unique to those particular films. ... It wouldn't be just a remake or a new part in a franchise. ... That's the tricky thing with Hollywood, the audience want something new and fresh, but you make that and they don't want it, they just want, like, 'Purge 4' or something."
MP: What do you hope to achieve as a director?
FA: "Keep the audience entertained and scare the shit out of them if I can.
What more can you ask for? Don't Breathe hits theaters August 26. Here's the trailer.