Exclusive: Evil Dead star felt ‘tortured’ on set

Mark Lankester
Jane Levy... 'Tortured' making Evil Dead (Credit: TriStar Pictures)
Jane Levy... 'Tortured' making Evil Dead (Credit: TriStar Pictures)

‘Evil Dead’ star Jane Levy said director Fede Alvarez ‘tortured’ the cast on set of the horror remake, and that the shoot gave her nightmares.

In the movie, five friends find themselves the target of a demonic possession. They’re stabbed with shards of broken glass and punctured with nail guns. Limbs get hacked off, and, most horrifically of all, there’s the ‘tongue scene’. Just watch the redband trailer for that one…

But it was almost as grim for the actors in real life.

“The shoot wasn’t that fun…. an actor’s job in a horror film is just to be tortured,” Levy told Yahoo! Movies about the arduous production. “What was hard was shaking it when you get home. I had nightmares the whole time.”

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Director Alvarez eschewed digital effects in favour of gory practical effects and there was so much fake blood on set that Levy’s skin ended up dyed pink. “I got unnaturally used to all the blood,” she said.

“[But] actually the gore wasn’t necessarily the hardest stuff to shoot, because that’s just blood. The hardest stuff was getting buried alive, which isn’t gory at all. But that was really tough.

“I don’t know why when I read the script I thought it would be fun,” she said. “But again, I feel like it’s like what it means to make a horror film. The director’s job is to torture the actors.

“Fede said that if you’re watching a comedy and everyone’s having a good time, you probably feel that energy. But if you’re watching a horror film and everyone’s having a terrible time – that makes sense.”


Alvarez was unapologetic about his methods, telling us that it “has to be this way”.

“When you’re making a horror movie, you want the actors to be living in that horror universe,” he said.

“You need real reactions, you need real pain. You need real suffering on camera, in order to transmit that. And if they’re having a great time and everybody is laughing all the time. Something is probably wrong.

“Films are all about showing real stuff, as real as you can,” he added. “Without killing anybody.”

It seems the only perk for Levy was that she got to keep the film’s iconic ‘Evil Dead’ chainsaw prop. “It’s sitting in my living room. It’s still got the blood on it,” she said.

‘Evil Dead’ is out now in the UK.