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Drag Me to Hell
Raimi is finally back into his horror movie roots
Sam Raimi returns to his horror film roots as he tells the story of horror, dark humor, and twisted characters as only he can. The story follows a loan officer at a bank, Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), whom seems to have just another ordinary life. She's dating a successful lawyer, Clay Dalton (Justin Long), and she's up for another promotion soon at the bank. However, one day she comes upon the misfortune of having to decline a bank loan extension to an old gypsy, Mrs. Ganush, so she could keep her house. Although Christine does try to work things out with her boss to get the elderly woman her extension despite his protests, her boss still says no. Personally, from a logical stand point, one would presume that Christine did do all she could to help the lady. Sadly, Mrs. Ganush doesn't see it that way and blames Christine anyway, so she puts a curse on her to be haunted by demons that eerily resemble Mrs. Ganush, for several days until she is finally dragged down to hell. Although, some could say this film does partially rip off from other films like the "Exorcist" or Rosemary's Baby" with the demonic symbolism that will send chills down the spines of most viewers. It does offer a lot of dark humor along with some twisted characters to give it some originality. Overall, "Drag Me to Hell" is a lot better of a horror film than most might want to believe.
For those unfamiliar with Raimi's work, Sam Raimi has always directed horror films that had a dark twisted sense of humor like his "Evil Dead" series that he brought to life over the years. Displaying various scenes of dark humor that will not only make you laugh, yet proves to be provacatively scary. In one scene, when Christine tries to make peace with Mrs. Ganush by visiting her grand daughter's house, whom she was recorded to have last lived with, only to find out that she passed away with no possible way to resolve their issues. What starts off as a typical funeral visits, turns into a living nightmare. As when she tries to pay her respects to her, in one scene, she accidentally puts her arm on Mrs. Gunush's hands and it ends up grabbing her arm, as it forced her to wrestle with the dead body to free her arm from Ganush's grasp in front of a lot of people. Then of course after she frees her arm, Ganush lands face first on top of Christine, as she falls back to the floor, and pukes out whatevers left inside her onto Christine's pretty little face. Creating a dark twisted humorous scene, yet sadistic feeling to the movie as the viewer feels chills running down their spines.
The acting was fairly decent as well. Alison Lohman, did a fairly decent job portraying a innocent girl trying to escape a gypsy's curse. In the various scenes where it shows Ganush biting Christine's lower jaw as she tries to attack her, you can almost feel her reaction of pure fright as it causes the viewer to feel the intensity of the scene itself. Then in one scene, as she tries to pass the curse back onto Mrs. Ganush, you see Christine's expression go from being a scared frightened paranoid girl, to a woman thats purely pist off about her situation and just wants her life to go back to normal. Alison Lohman handles this transition so gradually it allows the viewer to feel a sense of empathy with her as she desparately tries to get rid of the curse before her time is up. In one moment, you see her refusing to kill her cat like the pyschic suggests, to her to get rid the curse, but as she gets continueously haunted by Ganush, you can literally see the fear and intensity in her eyes, like that of a child, as she soon changes her mind and sacrifices her own cat.
Indeed, Raimi has a bit of a talent for creating twisted characters that fit his interest. Mrs. Ganush starts off as a sweet old lady at first sight. However, after she is escorted outside by the bank guards, the viewer sees a different side to her. Starting from the car scene as Christine, leaves work that night, only to find Mrs. Ganush there waiting for her. Then, without warning attacking her, Making the viewer frightened as they gradually see the transition of this sweet old lady turn into a demonic ghoulish figure. Even after she dies, this becomes even more apparent as the ghosts, that eerily resemble Ganush, start to seem less and less human as the movie goes on and begin to take on a more ghoulish type of appearance.
Although, some of the demonic symbolisms may not be as scary as they were in films like the "Exorcist", Sam Raimi offers a story that not only uses those symbolisms but he adds a warped sense of humor that only he can pull off in a horror film.
Offering great special effects that help create the dark world that Raimi creates.
Although, I'm sure this film won't be as popular as Rob Zombie's "Halloween 2", but "Drag Me to Hell" is definitely better than what most people might think. Offering tons of great visuals, dark humor, and bone chilling scenes, that'll keep most viewers entertained. Sam Raimi has finally returned to his horror movie roots at last.