As you’ll recall, at the end of the movie, our hero Beth (Sullivan) takes on the deadite abomination that was once her sister Ellie (Sutherland) in the basement of the Los Angeles apartment building. After uttering the classic “Come get some” in a hero pose, Beth forces the deadite thing into a wood chipper and saves her young niece Kassie (Nell Fisher). Beth and Kassie depart the building, but not before she pauses to pick up the chainsaw and takes it with her.
Of course, directly following this moment, we learn that Jessica (Anna-Marie Thomas), who we first saw possessed at the cabin in the flash forward opening scene, was a resident of the building in which the rest of the movie takes place. We watch as Jessica is overtaken by the evil dead, setting up the movie’s gruesome intro at the lake.
Cronin tells Talking Strange that he already knows what happens next: “The very next scene after the movie ends is in a rundown Los Angeles police precinct not far from the building,” the director says. “There’s a guy building his bologna sandwich behind the counter as you enter. From the angle of his sandwich we see this door swinging open and closing. He doesn’t even bother looking up until you see this big bloody chainsaw dropping on the counter. He looks up to see Kassie and Beth, and Beth says, ‘they’re all dead.’”
“There’s a reason Beth picks up the chainsaw in the movie, and it’s not for her story to end when the credits roll,” Cronin teases. “In my mind, I definitely left open two, three, four avenues of story…Equally, there is also a world where the clean up crew get a call and arrive at that building, and go, ‘What the hell has happened here?’ and get pulled into that world.”
Cronin says working with production company New Line Cinema was a delight because of its reputation in the horror space, and rather than pushing for him to set up sequels, it only encouraged him to “make a great movie and see where that goes.” Additionally, the director speaks about the support he received from the trio of Raimi/Tapert/Campbell after being handpicked to write and direct the film.
He says he was told to “make sure there’s scary deadites, and use the book” — aka the Naturom Demonto, aka Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, aka Book of the Dead. Beyond that, the team wanted Cronin to do something different and “take it somewhere new.”