Madness at the Movies: Drag Me to Hell

It seems that everywhere a horror fan such as myself looks, there’s a new story about Sam Raimi’s return to horror, Drag Me To Hell.  Not just critics, but horror fans alike are touting its greatness.  It’s been called one of the best horror films of ALL TIME, already!

I finally got a chance to see the movie this weekend.  Is it the amazing horror film that fans have been waiting years for?  Check out my full review by clicking the graphic below!

Click here for our full review!
Click here for our full review!

In Drag Me to Hell, Christine (Alison Lohman), a loan officer, is trying to get an important promotion at her bank.  She’s put in a pretty tight spot when her boss tells her that a boss needs to be able to make “tough decisions.”  Not long after, an elderly gypsy woman comes in, needing an extension on her loan.  To impress her boss and get the promotion, Christine refuses the extension, and the gypsy woman curses her – in three days, she’ll be, quite literally, dragged to hell.

I wouldn’t say I hated Drag Me To Hell, but I think it’s way overrated.  Everyone is saying this is one of the best horror films they’ve ever seen, and certainly one of the best they’ve seen in years.  I just…don’t see it.  In fact, I’d say that Drag Me To Hell is downright stupid.

Sure, it’s been said in many interviews that Raimi’s intention was to make a “stupid horror film.”  And I’d say, in response, mission accomplished.  Still, there’s a difference between a supid horror film and a bad horror film.  Drag Me To Hell is a bad horror film.  The bits of humor were not really funny – scenes of animal possession and Three Stooges-style slapstick fights between Christine and the gypsy woman are really kind of hard to take seriously, or even enjoy due to the oddball nature of the scenes, and a ton of bad CGI.

I don’t think I’ve seen anything with Alison Lohman in it before, but I just couldn’t get into her character.  Justin Long did admirable as the boyfriend who just happens to never see any of the crazy sh*t that happens…but you don’t hire Justin Long to be that kind of guy.  Felt like his talent was wasted.  The supporting cast did a pretty good job – Lorna Raver as Mrs. Ganush, the gypsy woman, was definitely creepy.  David Paymer as the Mr. Jacks, the bank manager, was…well, David Paymer (that’s a good thing).  Even Dileep Rao as the psychic who tries to help Christine puts in a decent job.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Raimi film without inventive camera work.  I have very little to say about the cinematography and direction on this one.  Some great stuff, visually.  I just wish the CGI was there to support it.  The special effects are downright bad.  Special kudos to the music though – Christopher Young (Hellraiser) did a bang up job on setting a creepy tone that I wish the film lived up to.

All in all, all Drag Me To Hell showed me is that Sam Raimi still has some of that old horror talent that made him so popular to begin with, but it may be fleeting.  This is the guy who made Evil Dead for $300k.  There is such a thing as having too much money.

Paul Awesomness Score - 5Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 5 out of 10!

5 comments on “Madness at the Movies: Drag Me to HellAdd yours →

  1. An ok flick that I probably would have enjoyed more if a lot of the reviews for it werent exclaiming how frickin wonderful it was and giving it 4 and half out of 5 stars (I’m looking at you Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central)…

  2. I’m guessing you did not see the Wednesday night showing at AMC 24 in Hampton during which two groups of people kept making funny ass comments, like, “Don’t look in there, bitch,” and, “Who has an anvil?” which made the movie a lot more enjoyable.

    And of course, going into the movie knowing that Raimi is a pretty cheesy director helps, or at least helped me realize that I should not take the movie seriously. Some of his camera movements? Why? Why, why, why? I read in some book about los Bros. Coen in which Raimi says something like it’s the director’s job to make it clear what is most important in the scene. This made me think of some of his squiggly move in for close-ups moves from one or several of the Spider-Man movies. I’m not that studied in film criticism, theory, or technique, but I’d imagine the actors should be helping make the audience understand something important is happening, or the music, or costuming, but the fucking squiggling camera…No. You know what I mean?

    I enjoyed it as a fun movie, in which I was scared for few moments here and there, as goat-headed demons can be frightening, but that’s about all. The old Gypsy was gross and creepy, but didn’t we love the old lady in Evil Dead II for the same reasons?

    Three couples walked out before the end, but I think it was the jokers that turned them off more than the cheese and bad CG. The theatre manager mentioned at least one pair complained about the talking and shouting, but I took it like the Grindhouse experience or Rocky Horror: It’s all about audience response.

    PS: Lohman starred in White Oleander opposite Michelle Catwoman, in which the former plays some trouble jail-bait who moves from foster home to foster home because of her psychotic mother played by the latter. Take a look if it doesn’t sound too chick-flick for you.

  3. “Sure, it’s been said in many interviews that Raimi’s intention was to make a “stupid horror film.” And I’d say, in response, mission accomplished.”

    Rofl

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