Starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao & David Paymer.
Written by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi.
Directed by Sam Raimi.
Director Sam Raimi returns to horror, the genre that gave birth to his career after completing the low-budget classic The Evil Dead in 1983. Raimi’s films have, for the most part, incorporated dark themes (I just won’t mention the atrocious For Love Of The Game – oh no, too late!), and horror is a genre that fits the director like a glove. Drag Me To Hell is a competent and enjoyable offering, yet also presenting some seriously tired horror film devices. Which isn’t surprising, considering that Drag Me To Hell feels as though it stepped straight out of the late 1980s – its environment small, its characters few and even its production design feeling akin to that decade (there’s even a fun comment regarding getting away for the weekend at a cabin in the woods!). The story is simple – a young bank employee named Christine (Lohman), eager for promotion, pisses off an old gypsy woman by refusing to extend the foreclosure on her home. After a hilarious scuffle in an underground parking lot (with shades of Evil Dead 2‘s Henrietta in the old gypsy), a curse is placed on Christine by the vengeful old lady – whereby a labia (that’s cool horror film speak for ‘demon’) will rise from hell to torment the hapless young woman for three days before dragging her screaming soul to hell. And how do you stop that? You consult an expert on these matters who is initially freaked out but eventually arranges a sort of exorcism. Yep, it’s typical horror film fare with a few too many false startles complete with high string hits. But it’s also clear that Raimi and co are enjoying themselves with this tale. Drag Me To Hell, at times, features some great special effects that are rather effective – not to mention a very satisfying ending.
By Wadrick Jones