Archive for November, 2009

Drag Me to Hell

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

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Drag Me to Hell takes director Sam Raimi back to his blood soaked, bile drenched horror roots. For a director with as varied a career as Raimi’s, it must’ve been a real kick to go back to the kind of film that made his name in the first place. It features possessions, bugs, demons, sacrifices and lots of goo of assorted colors and textures. In other words, it’s a hoot.

Drag Me to Hell is simply an exercise (or is that exorcise?) for Raimi to unleash his demented bag of cinematic tricks. It stars Alison Lohman as Christine, a sweet loan officer at a bank (her boss is played by David Paymer). Christine is in the running for the assistant manager position, against an obnoxious co-worker (gamely played by Reggie Lee). One day, an old gypsy crone named Mrs. Ganush comes in, asking Christine for another loan so she won’t be evicted. Subtly pressured by her boss, Christine denies her the loan.

And, then Mrs. Ganush curses her. The plot is basically an excuse for Raimi and his band of Merry Pranksters (the film crew) to assault poor Christine with a variety of nasty tricks. It makes for a well made, pus filled ride, that’s for sure. I was impressed by Lohman’s performance; not since Bruce Campbell has Raimi thrown so many obstacles into his hero’s path.

Lorna Raven also gives a good performance, as the withered, vengeance driven gypsy. Justin Long plays Christine’s doubting boyfriend, and Dileep Rao plays a psychic who aids Christine. There are several great moments in the film, such as Christine’s confrontation at a wake, a seance that gets plain weird (Adriana Barraza shows up here as a medium) and the kitten gag that occurs about an hour into the film.

Drag Me to Hell proves that, all these years later, Raimi can still make a potent cocktail of horror and humor.