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Is Evil Dead based on a true story?

With so many horror movies turning to the real world to take inspiration from, fans want to know, is Evil Dead based on a true story.

Is Evil Dead based on a true story?: Alyssa Sutherland as Ellie in Evil Dead Rise

Is Evil Dead based on a true story? The next instalment of the famous horror movie franchise is fast approaching with the upcoming Evil Dead Rise release date. Originally a Sam Raimi creation, Evil Dead has seen some wild updates and depictions over the years, and this new movie is no exception. 

Of course, the horror genre is not one that shies away from utilising movies based on a true story. In fact, some of the best movies of all time are horror outings based on real events. So it’s unsurprising that for every new slasher movie or ghost movie that hits our screens, audiences are left to ponder the real-life inspirations behind them.

But is Evil Dead based on a true story? Well, that’s what we’ve tried to find out. We’ve done some digging into the history and lore of the famous franchise to try to uncover where the line is between fact and fiction in these gory tales.

Is Evil Dead based on a true story?

No, neither the Evil Dead franchise, or the new movie, are directly based on true events. It’s not surprising that a franchise which includes zombie skeletons and arms made out of chainsaws might not have a factor of reality within it.

In fact, the original ‘80s movie was actually based on the proof-of-concept horror film, Within the Woods, produced by Sam Raimi. This would eventually lead to the creation of 1981’s The Evil Dead.

That said, there are certainly some links to the paraphernalia associated with the franchise’s lore and real-life counterparts. You know what they say…sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

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If the Evil Dead Rise trailer caught your attention, then you might have already read our answer to the glaring question: What is the book in the Evil Dead Rise trailer? This, of course, is the infamous Necronomicon. The book, also known as The Book of the Dead, pops up from time to time within the Evil Dead franchise, and is known for typically summoning demonic spirits that wreak havoc and chaos among the characters. (Plus, it also has a reputation for being, well, insanely creepy.)

In fact, that book itself is based on a famous H.P Lovecraft imagining. The book appeared in several short stories and would go on to become one of his most famous creations. But, of course, the book itself isn’t actually real. Lovecraft was open about the fact that the book was imaginary, and had said that the name ‘Necronomicon’ even came to him in a dream.

But the Necronomicon isn’t a purely fictitious creation, really. If you’ve heard the term ‘Book of the Dead’ before, then that probably stems from its origins in Ancient Egyptian culture. The ‘book’ itself actually consisted of a loose collection of texts or spells that were used to assist the journey into the afterlife of a recently deceased person. The texts were written over thousands of years by an expansive collection of priests, and were usually placed in the coffin of the recently departed.

Is Evil Dead based on a true story?: The Necronomicon from Evil Dead Rise

Since there is no singular or definitive version of The Book of the Dead, the concept is more fluid and varied than the one we are used to seeing on screen in the Evil Dead franchise. (That said, the Necronomicon is known to appear in different forms, such as in audio recordings, showing how the material adapts itself to its different keepers.)

The parallel between the original beginnings of The Book of the Dead and the usage of it in the classic horror movie is an unsurprising one. The original version of the texts was used to help those who had passed move onto the afterlife, while the modern, fictional version is used to summon demons that take possession of human souls, resulting in gruesome deaths. It’s religious history vs twisted fantasy, each utilising the same idea of a sacred text for very different reasons.

…We know which one we’d rather be in proximity to.

Intrigued? Check out our Evil Dead Rise review to prepare for the fast-approaching release date. And for more horror based scares, don’t forget to check out our The Pope’s Exorcist review, and everything we know about the Saw 10 release date.