Lee Cronin was gracious enough to chat with us via phone about his 50 States of Fright episode, “13 Steps to Hell,” his love of the horror genre and working with one of his filmmaking idols, Sam Raimi.
Lee Cronin is on the verge of becoming a household name. The up and coming director of the indie darling, The Hole in the Ground, chatted with us recently via phone about his fondness for the horror genre, his work on Sam Raimi’s Quibi series, 50 States of Fright and of course, Evil Dead Rise.
Meanwhile, in Ireland: The Formative Years
1428 Elm: Hi, Lee. Thanks for speaking with us. First of all, congratulations on your IFTA nominations for The Hole in the Ground.
Lee Cronin: Thank you very much.
1428 Elm: Let’s start off talking about your background. In a previous interview, you stated that when you were 8 or 9, you decided that you wanted to be a filmmaker. It is pretty impressive that you knew what path you were going to take at such a young age. You listed some of your influences as Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Evil Dead series. What is it about the horror genre that appeals to you?
Lee Cronin: I think, the context is what influenced me. As much as it was about what I saw, how I saw these things was because of my older siblings. I was quite young and there is a nine-year age gap between me and my sisters. My brother is older as well.
When I saw those films and they shared them with me, which I shouldn’t have seen at that age because that’s what big siblings do, it was also the experience that I had with them. The whole thing was very interactive to me.
I like the idea of gathering people together to experience something. Horror movies, especially in the theaters is a really communal experience. For me, that’s really a part of the why. Maybe if they would have been huge fans of comedies and that’s all they watched, maybe that’s what I’d be doing now.
It was absolutely the visceral nature of what horror feels like when I watched it personally but also that interactive experience which was something that really excited me from a young age.
1428 Elm: We know that The Hole in the Ground was your first full length feature. Do you think that was your calling card, so to speak for the US Film industry?
Lee Cronin: Absolutely. Taking it to Sundance, the positive reviews and the support that it received, the distribution at A24 and all of those things certainly have opened up a number of doors for me. I think when those doors open, you just have to be smart about which one you walk through.