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A 2009 horror film directed by Sam Raimi.

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Sam Raimi doing what he loved to do.

  • Apr 29, 2011
Rating:
+4
***1/2 out of ****

I'm sure I'm not within the minority when I say that Sam Raimi needed to make a movie like "Drag Me to Hell". Since Raimi is the man who directed all three films in the successful and cult-treasured "Evil Dead" trilogy, his roots are with horror films. In the 2000's, he chose to distance himself when he made the "Spider Man" films, which I have no problem with, given how good the first two films in that series were. "Drag Me to Hell" released at just the right time; at the decade's end. Time for our pal Raimi to make a come-back with, you guessed it, another horror film.

I like to watch horror films because they can scare me, make me jump, and even make me laugh. "Drag Me to Hell" is a pretty good example of its genre because it does all three. It's pretty close to being a genre, decade classic.

The films concerns a loan officer played by Alison Lohman who longs for the Assistant Manager position at her work, but has to constantly face competition with Stu, another ambitious worker. Lohman's character is named Christine, which I think is more important to point out than you may think.

The boss advises Christine to "make the tough decisions", and before you can say "do what your heart tells you to do", Christine takes a stab at it for herself. An elderly woman stops by asking for an extension on her house loan. This woman is a creepy old Gypsy, and if Lohman's character knows one thing about horror movies, its that you never trust a creepy old Gypsy woman. And you most certainly do not piss her off, but this is exactly what our heroine unintentionally does. The gypsy woman curses Christine by whispering some Gyspy jibber-jabber to a button which she rips off the heroine's coat. Christine is the owner of this item, and for as long as she remains this, the curse shall run its course.

The curse comes with a demon which is called "The Lamia". It is best described as a "black goat", or at least that's what a fortune-teller played by Dileep Rao refers to it as. Christine attempts to pass on or get rid of this curse, although most of her attempts end up being fairly unsuccessful due to the fact that she fears her limits and what she may have to do to banish such an entity. The entire ride is fun, up until the final scene, which is still entertaining, but is accompanied by a buzzkill of a twist ending.

What works here is Raimi's intelligence and understanding of the genre he's working in. "The Evil Dead" is one of my favorite campy horror films, and here, Raimi exercises the same kind of raw charm. "Drag Me to Hell" is not half as bloody or extreme as "The Evil Dead", and it's one of the best PG-13 horror films out there, but it's still scarier than 75% of what's out there. It gets a lot of help from its atmospheric music, cinematography, and effects.

There are some memorably fun scenes, one of them which involves a ritual, conducted in hopes of repelling the demonic goat spirit. The scene is at times jumpy and startling, but what made me love it was the hilarious aspects. There's one part in which the demon possesses an actual goat at the scene, which is no doubt animatronic, and the damn animal starts talking, cursing, and moving its little animatronic mouth to generate some impossibly big laughs. And equally as funny and comedic moment involves a man getting possessed, after being bitten by the goat, and floating in the air in the cheapest-looking way possible. This is all intentional, because really, who would make the guy DANCE and think they're actually scaring people at the moment?

What I love about "Drag Me to Hell" is that it knows what it wants to be. It is scary, jumpy, funny, and very entertaining. It has its flaws, sure, but genre fans (horror fans) should not miss out on all the fun that such a well-made, visually inspired, and scary movie as this has to offer. Raimi's inspiration for comic-horror filmmaking is admirable, and his skill even more-so. He needs to start a new generation of horror, and perhaps "Drag Me to Hell" is just the beginning. After all, why stop here?

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May 01, 2011
ah yes!! I liked this film too!!
 
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More Drag Me to Hell reviews
review by . January 17, 2012
I am a huge horror movie fan. I have been ever since I was little, but ever since all of these brand new horror flicks have come out, I have yet to see one that I can give five stars to. So let me start with the good on this movie, which honestly wasn't very much. The acting was pretty good, the picture was good, and the characters were somwhat interesting. The storyline was also interesting and they did throw in a good air of suspense and horror.     Now for the bad; there was …
review by . April 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Its this a Horror or Comedy
When I first saw the trailer for Drag me to Hell I was super excited as I've been (for a long while) looking for a horror movie to truly scare the pants off me. Ironically the last movie that really scared me (to the point i couldnt sleep for a month....LITERALLY) was the first Evil Dead.      Enter Christine a Lone Officer at a Bank who is competing for a position as Assistant Manager. One day an elderly woman comes in for an extention on her mortgage. Although it was …
review by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What Pompted You to write a Review?   I am writing this review to let people know that I was not happy about this movie. I was very excited to see it when it came out and when I saw it, I said to myself, "Wow, what a complete waste of time"        How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   The plot was good, they had a good idea that was poorly executed. Some of the acting was good but the lead female character was a huge disappointment. I feel …
review by . July 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What Prompted You to write a Review?   I want to keep people away from this movie.     How was the Plot, Acting, Direction?   This movie was pathetic.  I love Justin Long, but this is probably my least favorite movie with him in it.  The acting was terrible as was the plot.     Were You ENTERTAINED?   I was able to sit through the entire movie without turning it off, so I was somewhat entertained.  By the end, though, …
review by . May 31, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
DRAG ME TO HELL The Minority Opinion
The reviews are in and Sam Raimi's DRAG ME TO HELL seems to be a resounding success--with everyone but me that is. I wanted so desperately to like this film because I fell in love with Raimi's work about 15 minutes into EVIL DEAD 2 which was my first experience with his goofy, super-kinetic style and like almost every horror fan I've been eagerly/anxiously awaiting his return to the genre. Unfortunately DRAG ME TO HELL simply isn't the film I was waiting for. I can understand …
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I really liked the cinematography of this film. It had a very surreal feel, sometimes almost cartoonish like something you would see in a show like "Tales from the Cryptkeeper." It made the movie unique, and so I liked it.
review by . May 30, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Poster
First of All, for a "dissenting" opinion and a review of this review, please check out my friend QUEENBflix's review. This film never met her expectations and she wanted to see that Raimi has grown. Her review is a great comparison to Raimi's past work, may give you an idea of what you may NOT like about this film, that Raimi has faltered in her expectations, as well as a rebuttal to this review. However, if you just want to read details as to how this film plays out, may have seen the film …
review by . March 04, 2010
Ever have that feeling that for the last ten years horror films have been repetitious series of clich├ęs and horrific actors taking absurd premises far too seriously? When was the last time you actually had fun watching a horror movie without it trying to work your lunch out of your stomach? Yeah, I'm pretty tired of modern horror films to. Luckily, a veteran of the genre has returned to teach us once more how to have fun with our horror once more. This man is of course, the one and only Sam Raimi! …
review by . October 20, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
This was an experience that was both welcoming and disheartening. Any of Raimi's old tricks are back, but some of his new tricks are present too, much to my chagrin. A good friend informed me that the first fifteen minutes of the film are "epic", a word that is not to be used lightly. In this, I strongly disagree. While some of the later scenes were very intense and quite fun, the first fifteen minutes were largely a waste of film.   Some of Raimi's old tricks include: the return of the …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Touted as a return to Sam Raimi's horror-movie roots, Drag Me to Hell is indeed closer in spirit to the director's Evil Dead pictures than to his Spider-Man films. You got your gypsy gargoyles with rotted dentures, your upchucking corpses, your flexible two-way orifices--yes, Raimi's definitely back in the saddle. There's even a story: a sad loan officer (Alison Lohman) turns down the aforementioned denture-wearing gypsy for a loan extension, which leads to an evil curse and a date in hell in three days' time. A séance, an animal sacrifice, and a session in a storm-tossed graveyard will make the 72 hours pass very nervously, thank you, along with assorted scares. Justin Long plays Lohman's upper-class boyfriend, and Raimi fills the rest of the cast with some unusual and unfamiliar types. Along with the giddy horror-comedy that bursts out of the movie every 10 minutes or so, there's also an underlying mood of pity: Lohman's character is something of a hard-luck sad sack, who does enough wrong things to make her seem like a truly abject individual, well outside the heroic model of most multiplex offerings. (Lohman's own little-girl-lost quality adds to this feeling.) But don't let that get in the way of the fun-ride aspects of this goofy enterprise: Drag Me to Hell is a bunch of Z-movie gags wrapped in top-drawer production values.--Robert Horton


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Details

Director: Sam Raimi
Genre: Horror
Release Date: May 29, 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Screen Writer: Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi
DVD Release Date: October 13, 2009
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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