Drag me to Hell is delightful, campy fun
It will also scare your pants off
A hearty welcome back to director Sam Raimi, who has been missing from the horror ranks for far too long. He makes up for his foray away from the fearful stuff with a scare-your-pants-off, laugh-out-loud, comedy/horror mashup that’s sure to delight even the most jaded horror fans.
Raimi was responsible for the iconic Evil Dead trilogy. Since then he has made himself a mainstream fixture directing the Spiderman franchise. He seems quite happy to be back in the land of horror, and this movie is absolutely one of the most fun horror movies since, well, Evil Dead 2.
Alison Lohman (Big Fish, White Oleandor) is perfectly cast as Christine, the girl next door who makes the disastrous decision to deny a creepy Gypsy lady another extension on her home mortgage. This results in the woman putting a curse on Christine, which entails Christine being tormented for three days by the Lamia spirit, just before her soul is taken to hell for eternity. For obvious reasons, Christine would prefer that doesn’t happen, so it’s a race against the clock to try to get rid of the spirit before the 3 days are up.
Raimi is a master at ratcheting up the suspense with everyday objects. Pots and pans become ominous weapons, and creepy shadows made my hair stand on end. Raimi doesn’t rely on gimmicky jump scares, he just provides you with plenty of the real deal. I must say this grizzled horror fan jumped at least 6 times, something I believed impossible. You deserve a badge of honor if you make it through this movie without soiling yourself.
This movie is very reminescent of the beloved Evil Dead 2, which carefully balanced the camp with the horror. If you’re not screaming or squealing you are laughing. Like that movie, Raimi serves up over the top gross-outs (think flying eyeballs, bodily fluids, and insects) that the audience ate up with glee. There is not much blood in this movie, but just about every other disgusting thing you can imagine. Raimi also uses noise to his advantage, heightening the tension for the audience with thumping doors and howling winds.
A scene in which Christine and her boyfriend (played by Justin Long) go to his parents’ house for dinner is sure to go down as a classic cult clip. Raimi also takes an interesting turn with the ending and treats it honorably instead of caving in to Hollywood cliches. Kudos to Ms. Lohman who handles the extremely physical role with apparent ease.
I can’t imagine that horror fans will find anything more satisfying this year. I was flabbergasted to find that this movie is rated PG-13. I believe it was too scary for that rating. If you want to take a wild ride, go see Drag Me to Hell. I dare you. Frothygirlz rating 9/10.