Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Drag Me to Hell (DVD)

After years of sidetracking to other projects, Director Sam Raimi returns to the genre that gave him his start and made him so famous. Welcome back, Sam.

Christine Brown is the nicest person you'll ever meet and Alison Lohman does an outstanding job making her one of the most likeable characters that I've seen, on screen, in a while. Christine works as a loan officer at the local bank. Convinced that she's capable of making the tough decisions, she turns down an old lady's plee for an extension on her home loan in order to impress her boss and, hopefully, get a leg-up on a promotion. The old lady then places a curse on Christine, who must now seek help from a psychic in order to prevent her soul from being dragged straight to Hell.

Drag Me to Hell is a shocking, often funny, horror movie filled with nudges to obvious cliches in the horror genre; from the perpetrator who won't die to the most implausible circumstances such as a conveniently placed anvil hanging up in your toolshed above the perp's head and a skate in your hand so you can cut the rope holding it up. Sam Raimi loves to exploit these conventional tactics and in doing so provides the humor that makes his movies stand out from others in the genre.

Even the title is a throwback to the blatantly named horror films of the 1950s such as Teenage Zombies, Night of the Blood Beast, Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Blob, and From Hell it Came. It is this kind of approach that makes Drag Me to Hell and other Sam Raimi films so much fun to watch.

With that said, this movie didn't exactly keep me on the edge of my seat but it did provide enough startling "gotcha" moments to keep my adrenaline flowing.

Overall, I think Drag Me to Hell is a successful return to satirical horror for Raimi that is sure to satisfy fans and wet their appetites until his third coming.  

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