DRAG ME TO HELL
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A young lady is trying desperately to get a leg up in the world, trying to move up the corporate ladder at her banking job. But one day, when she tries to show some gumption by denying a poor candidate for a loan, a gypsy curse is placed on her and she is told that she will be terrorized by a mythical creature known as the Lamia for days before being drug to hell.
Is it good movie?
For years and years and years, people have been asking Sam Raimi when he would return to horror. If you don't know the names of Sam and Ivan Raimi, they're two of the most legendary cult horror directors ever and Sam has gone on to do a little movie trilogy called Spider-Man, in case you've ever heard of it. Of course, he is equally memorable among horror nerds for the Evil Dead trilogy. He finally agreed to make this film, having sat on the script for several years.
Let me just say, the king is back. Easily one of my favorite films of the year, Drag me to Hell is exactly what horror is about. It's funny, it's scary, it's messy, and it's just plain FUN. It doesn't get caught up in taking itself too seriously, and gives you plenty of opportunities to scream at the screen while peeking through covered eyes.
Raimi's distinctive filmmaking style is back again, with all kinds of nifty camera tricks and effects. The plot is simple, but engaging. The poor ne'er do well heroine gets caught up in a really bad situation and is terrorized by it throughout the film. The rest of the movie is simply watching this poor girl being drug to hell while people around her wonder if she's going nuts.
There are so many memorable scenes in this film, from the parking garage to the dinner scene to the seance, everything here is gold. Sure, this film gets a little silly at times, but I liken it to reading a comic book, an old EC horror issue. I think the film's biggest achievement is that it's PG-13, which should shut some people up. It's not an easy thing to do, making a horror film that isn't rated R. I think Raimi set out to prove that just because it's not R doesn't mean it has to SUCK horribly like almost every single PG rated teen horror flick made in the last 10 years.
This movie is pretty scary. It's not like you'll be led down a psychological road, but there's enough jumpy boo scares to whip anyone into shape. The plot is gleefully predictable, which makes for a wonderful last sequence. And it's also gross- I won't spoil it, but there are many gushes of arterial spray and ample heaping loads of embalming fluid and other nasty moosh going on here.
While I'm happily gushing, let me also mention that the cast in this film is top-notch. Alison Lohman is a capable and believable young actress who makes a great lead as Christine, and although I don't buy him as a college professor for a moment, Justin Long is likable in almost every role. Extra special mentions go to Lorna Raver as the deranged gypsy Sylvia Ganush, and the excellent Dileep Rao as the psychic who helps Christine out. Even David Paymer makes an appearance!
I can't say there's anything about this movie I didn't like. I've watched it three or four times now and it's nothing but pure entertainment. If you like to have fun while getting a good dose of old school horror, look no further because Hell is here.
Note: This is a review of both the Rated AND Unrated versions- there is almost no difference between the two and the unrated version is actually 9 seconds shorter!
Video / Audio
Drag me to Hell comes in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen and sports a nice transfer that won't blow your mind. Things look just fine, but this is nothing super special.
Audio is important, and of course it is in Dolby 5.1 and sounds fantastic. Raimi has always been an aural master and luckily this is no different, this track sounds great.
Unfortunately, the only thing we get here is about a half an hour ofProduction diaries, split into 14 chapters that run about 2 or 3 minutes each. They're pretty fun to watch, and although there's some typical glad-handing, everyone makes an appearance and things come off pretty well. Just makes you wish there were MORE to it. So disappointing.
But there's always room for trailers, and here's what you get: Bruno, Public Enemies, Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Blu-Ray, "Battlestar Galactica": The Plan, The Limits of Control and Land of the Lost. Can you believe there's no Drag trailer here?
Although the DVD release is disappointing, this movie is awesome. You should buy it if you like horror movies- it's what horror fans deserve. Sam Raimi's still got it, and fans need to support this because it didn't make enough theatrically to thrill studio execs. Go now!