DRAG ME TO HELL :: HORROR :: 014
If the child in me was a director, it would be Sam Raimi. And if it were possible to give birth so that the world would have another Sam Raimi, I would. What a gift that would be? But alas, no uterus. Besides I like Sam in me. Wait… that sounded wrong.
After the cult success of the Evil Dead trilogy, and what I’d consider a shining moment on top (A Simple Plan, 1989), then the hugely successful Spiderman trilogy, I was wondering when Sammy was going to ditch the bitch of Hollywood and indulge in his hobby. With Drag Me To Hell, the child in me can be proud of his father. [jeez, there I go again!]
Drag Me To Hell, is the story of Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) whose career is on the rise as a loan officer, until she is cursed by an old gypsy, Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver). Christine and her boyfriend (Justin Long) seek the help of psychic Rham Jas (Deleep Rao) who feels he may be able to save her soul. But it comes with a price, and there are no guarantees.
One of my favorite things to do when I watch a Sam Raimi film is to find the signature moves, and the references to other works that he’s done. The second thing I like is to sit back and just let that inner child play in the giant, fun, mud-pie (or “harvest cake” if you will) that Sam creates. Yes there is a bit of campiness, and yes, things sometimes seem outrageously odd… but when you know that “seriousness” and “realism” in a Sam Raimi horror film is something that he intends not to accomplish… you take it as something different, something uniquely his.
I have a weak stomach. Sometimes I gag when I brush my back molars. When I first watched The Exorcist, I was in my early teens, and even at that advanced age my body wilted at the scene when the priest “ate the pea soup.” On four separate occasions I got the same nauseous, gut-busting sensations while watching Drag Me To Hell.
I love the duel that Sam and Ivan Raimi plays between the physical world and the paranormal/spiritual world. For example, the old gypsy’s handkerchief flies along the wind, possessed with evil and spreads itself across Christine’s car windshield. She screams, and quickly flips on the windshield wipers that momentarily, although successfully, thwarts the evil menace. Like Army of Darkness’s “Klatu Varata Ni…[clears his throat],” we challenge the spiritual world with all that is humanly possible… and at times, even with our stupidity.
There were several downers in this film. Bruce Campbell, not even having a cameo appearance was befuddling and left me stomping my foot in childish protest. The other was the sometimes poor CGI, of which you will see for yourself. And lastly, to be honest, I didn’t care one iota for the ending. If only the movie would have stopped 2 minutes earlier, I would have been happier. Judge for yourself and let us know what you thought of the film.