Evil Dead Rise Director to Helm New Horror Movie Thaw

Evil Dead Rise director Lee Cronin hasn't even had a chance to make his big splash with horror audiences yet, but the acclaim he's already generated is strong enough ot help him already book his next directorial project. Thaw is a horror-thiller in development over a New Line Cinema – the same studio that greenlit Cronin's story idea for Evil Dead Rise and put him in the director's seat (on endorsement from Evil Dead Sam Raimi). Cronin will direct Thaw and re-write the current draft of the script by Jeremy Passmore (Red Dawn, San Andreas). Producers include Van Toffler and David Gale (Gunpowder & Sky), and Adam Goldworm of Aperture. 

The story premise for Thaw can be read below (via THR):

Set years after the polar ice caps have melted and sea levels have risen, the story of Thaw centers on a group of survivors at sea searching for a new home. Their prayers are answered with the discovery of an inhabitable town, that is, until they encounter a new nightmare living just below the water's surface.

If you read that synopsis and immediately think of Kevin Costner's Waterworld with a horror bend... we forgive you. That comparison may be a good one to keep in mind; Waterworld saw its budget swell, as any movie with an aquatic setting can get expensive. However, the 2020 sci-fi/horror film Underwater was made for less than $100 million (only $40 million in box office returns), and Thaw sounds like it'll spend much more time above the water line rather than below it. If it leans into the tradition of Jaws, Cloverfield, or even Jordan Peele's Nope, then it could scare audiences plenty without having to so much at all. 

(Photo: New Line Cinema)

New Line putting Lee Cronin in the director's chair of Thaw is a legitimate sign that the studio is confident in Cronin's work with Evil Dead Rise. The film made its world premiere at SXSW 2023 in mid-March, and quickly earned a perfect 100% early Rotten Tomatoes score. According to SlashFilm it's "The nastiest, most extreme entry in a series that's pretty well-known for being nasty and extreme."

 Bloody Disgusting says Evil Dead Rise has "unhinged levels of viscera" which "ensure a gruesomely great time at the movies." 

And Rue Morgue Magazine says "Once EVIL DEAD RISE gets cranking, it sustains a pitch of intense, sometimes painful terror that's leavened by just the right amount of black humor." 

Evil Dead Rise will be in theaters on April 21st.