31 Days of Howl-oween: Day 20 – Drag Me to Hell

20 Oct

I am a fan of films that are unpredictable. I also am a fan of films that can deliver in droves. Do either of these fit the bill for today’s feature?

I, being a fan of most of director Sam Raimi’s other films, was excited to sit down and review today’s film for this look at 31 Horror Films for each day of October. I knew he was capable of films better than part 3 of a certain web slinger.

It was with this that I dimmed the lights, cranked up the sound, and sat back with a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s.

31 Days of Howl-oween

A Review of Films Filled with Frights

Day 20

Film #20

~ Drag Me To Hell ~

Director:  Sam Raimi
Year:  2009
Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Reggie Lee
Language:  English
Country:  United States
Specs:  99 mins. / Color / OAR 2.35:1 / MPAA Rating: PG-13

When loans officer Christine Brown (Lohman) turns down a gypsy woman named Ganush (Raver) for an extension on her mortgage, Ganush places a hex on her, where she will continue to be haunted by a demon until she can beg for forgiveness. When Ganush accidentally dies, Christine is stuck to figure out a way to rid herself of the curse, before she is taken to hell by the demon.

A scary movie with over the top displays of horror thrown in for good measure. Raimi pulls out every trick in the book he knows and does well to deliver dozens of truly jump out of your seat scares. Almost all the scary moments are things suddenly popping onto the screen, with the music cues accompanying it. The times we actually see creatures, violent acts, etc, don’t come across scary as much as they do comically unrealistic, similar to Raimi’s other films (“Evil Dead”, “Darkman”). Of course, he relies on a number of gross out moments as well, intended to scare I’m sure, but simply come across as shock value moments.

The film is an entertaining film, and certainly kept me awake later than I would have liked due to my inability to sleep! The ending itself is a great nontraditional finale that I did not predict at all. I actually thought, halfway through the film, that I knew the rest of the film. Thankfully, I was wrong.

The acting itself is sufficient, but not the greatest I’ve seen. I’m not a particular fan of Long in this role. I couldn’t get past the fact that he is nearly identical to his character in the Apple commercials, or any other film I’ve seen him in. Lohman, however, does a splendid job as the girl next door with the most unfortunate of circumstances.

Those expecting a slow paced haunted tale will undoubtedly be disappointed, as the film is fast paced and gimmicky (as I already pointed out). There isn’t much in the way of creepy atmosphere, or haunting music as the camera slowly moves through the house.

Raimi certainly knows how to direct horror, and fans of his other work will not be let down. Fans of Spider-man 3, however, well, that’s another blog…

My Rating:   **** / B

Available on Amazon: Drag Me to Hell (Unrated Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray]

or Amazon Video on Demand: Drag Me to Hell (Unrated)

Stay tuned…

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Posted by on October 20, 2010 in Movies


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