Q&A with EVIL DEAD Costume Designer Sarah Voon

Our friends over at Fancy Dress Costumes were able to have a quick chat with EVIL DEAD’s costume designer, Sarah Voon. Check out the Q&A below.

evil_dead_redEver wonder what goes into making a totally FX-free movie look so realistic? Check out this Q&A with Sarah Voon, as asked by our friends over at Fancy Dress Costumes in the UK.


Were you a fan of the original Evil Dead films?
I used to love horror in my youth, so I had seen all the greats from the ’80s including the original Evil Dead, which I found truly terrifying at the time.

How much of your job revolved around making the cast look as unglamorous /beaten up as possible?
I’d say 80%. All the costumes were aged and taken back a notch or two, so nothing was ‘box fresh’ to start with. When the action starts, all the costumes go through increasingly distressed stages and we did a lot of research, testing various items for a totally realistic representation of what would happen to each fabric with each new situation.

Did director Fede Alvarez have specific ideas for the costumes?
Fede knows what he likes when he sees it, and I had strong ideas about the characters’ clothing as soon as I read the script. When I presented my ideas, he tweaked a few things but we pretty much went with the original designs.

One thing he was keen on was for the film to feel as timeless as possible without being bland, and also to never compensate for the various rigs and prosthetics required by obviously disguising them with costume. That was an awesome challenge.

Did you use any other horror movies for inspiration?
I only really looked at the original Evil Dead trilogy. The rest of my inspiration manifested in the way I always develop characters’ costuming, by researching where they live, what they do for a job, what music, TV or films they watch and listen to, how they grew up and whether interesting pieces of clothing from their past might make it into their closets today. And, of course, what they would realistically wear for a few days away at a cabin the woods…

Jane Levy goes through hell in the film. Did she find the costumes challenging?

Jane was an absolute trouper! She did find the situations she was in challenging, and I’m sure the costumes didn’t help, although I feel she used the discomfort to produce an incredible performance. We filmed through the winter and at night, and some of the costumes were on the skimpy side, but she hardly ever complained and was entirely up for it!

How closely did you work with the special effects/make-up effects departments?
Incredibly closely, in fact all of my initial creative meetings were with those departments as we conceptualised the practical requirements of each rig within each character’s costume. There were tiny concessions made, but these were generally in the special construction of some garments, and not in the look of the costumes.

Was it difficult to get the blood-soaked costumes off at the end of the day?
Sometimes! Fake blood is very sticky and some garments can dry with a consistency like cardboard. Luckily I had a very dedicated and experienced on-set team who managed the changes and actor comfort expertly.

Should we expect to see any nods back to the Bruce Campbell costumes of the original Evil Dead films?
I guess there are a couple, but you’ll have to watch and see if you can pick them!


Evil Dead is unleashed April 5.

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