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Drag me to Hell is delightful, campy fun

May 29, 2009

It will also scare your pants off

By Shannon

drag-me-to-hell-posterHoly crap. That’s my condensed review of this movie.

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.


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2 Responses to “ Drag me to Hell is delightful, campy fun ”

  1. Robert Madison on May 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Evil Dead II is hands down the funniest horror film of all time, and I can’t wait to see “Drag me to Hell”!

    On kind of a somewhat funny note (granted, probably only to me), I’ve recently become re-interested in “all things hell”. I downloaded “Constantine” this past weekend (Vuze rocks, by the way!) and watched it again. I just added “Inferno” (the modern-day, sci-fi remake of Dante’s Inferno, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle), and the sequel, “Escape from Hell”, to my Amazon wish list:


    I read “Inferno” a LONG time ago, but loaned the book to a friend and never saw it again. Bastard.

    Here’s another good one:

    I can’t figure out how to make it past level 7. Lemme know if you figure it out. The first time I took the quiz, I answered everything honestly, and ended up in the 2nd level of hell. With some tweaking, I figured out that it was sufficient to get demoted to the 6th level of hell if I did nothing other than acquire some “Pagan religious beliefs”. Here’s to Jobu!

  2. Shannon on May 29, 2009 at 10:54 am

    if you liked Evil Dead 2 you will love Drag me to Hell