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Drag Me To Hell
Genre Horror
Year: 2009
Drag Me to Hell is Sam Raimi’s follow-up to his disappointing Spider-Man 3 sequel. Sam and Ivan Raimi collaborated on the script for Drag Me to Hell, a screenplay with sprigs from Carrie, Office Space, Rosemary’s Baby, Sunset Boulevard and Evil Dead 2. Raimi’s direction seems to thrive in this pulpy blend of the action, horror, thriller and comedy genres. He created horror magic with the Evil Dead trilogy and Drag Me to Hell embodies the same elements, with darker comedy revolving around the occult. The story is about Christine Brown, a young girl trying to work her way up the corporate ladder at a bank. She’s trying to be more assertive to win the attention of her boss and a pay raise promotion would be just the ticket. However, her career instantly falls to pieces after she denies an old woman an extension in a bid to curry favour with her boss. The seemingly insensitive decision comes back to haunt her, as the old crone puts a curse on her. Christine is led to believe that an ancient spirit is out to get her soul, culminating in eternal damnation - unless she fights back. Drag Me to Hell stars Alison Lohman as the tormented Christine, whose co-stars include: Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers), Dileep Rao and Lorna Raver as Mrs Ganush.

Ironically, Drag Me to Hell is Raimi’s attempt to redeem himself in a return to his days of The Evil Dead. The film puts sound, lighting and low budget effects to good use, with CGI on the backburner. Raimi has a good grasp on the genre mix and one could even go as far as saying this was a labour of love. The storyboards must have been good enough to release as a comic book, because Drag Me to Hell is sheer visual splendor. Now vomiting worms, digging up graves and swallowing flies may not be for everyone, but this film is destined to become a instant cult classic. The horror sequences are carefully constructed and Raimi builds creepy tension from tricky dialogue to unexpected frights. Even seasoned horror fans will have trouble predicting the next scare. The movie’s imaginative set pieces involve the macabre, the occult and some ghoulish imagery from the very depths of hell. Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell works without buckets of blood and uses suspense to create a terrifying and hellish world for poor Christine.

Alison Lohman is an actress on-the-move and gives a stunning performance as Christine that pulls Raimi’s vision together in a similar manner to his implementation of Bruce Campbell. She’s supported by Justin Long, who appears to be miscast at first, but holds the fort down until the very end. While Lorna Raver’s Mrs Ganush is sensational… starting and finishing with a flurry of howling fury. This is the stuff horror classics are made of. Raimi generates enough terror to keep his audience pinned to their seats and delivers enough creepy shock value to echo The Evil Dead. Drag Me to Hell is a remarkable comeback for the director, who’s been connected to Spider-Man 4 and another Evil Dead sequel or remake. This is a horror movie that has it all… terrific performances, inspired direction and a riveting story - composed from strands of the true greats. If you loved The Evil Dead trilogy, then Drag Me to Hell will be just up your street, however this is definitely not a family movie like good ole Spidey. All in all, a superb writing-directing turn by the Raimis… oh, and let’s not forget the Oldsmobile.

The bottom line: Helluva-good.

Splingometer 8 - Drag Me To Hell
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