Saturday, June 29, 2013

#1,048. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Directed By: Sam Raimi

Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver

Tag line: "Christine Brown has a good job, a great boyfriend, and a bright future. But in three days, she's going to hell"

Trivia: The script was written after Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi completed Army of Darkness, but Sam pursued other projects before returning to this

Sam Raimi, who gave us The Evil Dead and its sequels, once again delves into the horror genre with 2009’s Drag Me to Hell, an occasionally gross yet highly entertaining motion picture.

Loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is in line for a promotion. To impress her hard-nosed boss, she refuses to give an elderly gypsy named Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) an extension on her mortgage. 

Naturally, Mrs. Ganush is none too happy about it, and takes her frustrations out on Christine by putting a curse on her. Within hours, Christine finds herself at the mercy of an evil spirit, which, according to fortune teller Rham Jas (Dileep Rao), goes by the name of Lamia. 

With the help of her boyfriend Clay (Justin Long), Christine hopes to break this terrible curse in less than 72 hours. If she doesn't, Lamia will drag her down to hell, where she will spend eternity suffering the tortures of the damned.

Packed with plenty of jump scares, Drag Me to Hell is a real thrill ride. At times, it’s a very tense motion picture, especially in the scenes where Lamia is stalking Christine. We never see the demon (save the occasional shadow on the wall), yet it definitely makes its presence known. 

The film also contains a handful of over-the-top sequences that, if they don’t make you laugh, are sure to bring a smile to your face (there’s a scene with a goat that’s unforgettable). What’s more, Drag Me to Hell features one of the most repulsive antagonists in recent memory. Played to perfection by Lorna Raver, Mrs. Ganush spends the better part of the movie spewing mucus, bugs, even embalming fluid all over Christine. Prior to putting the curse on her, Mrs. Ganush attacks Christine in a parking garage, and during the melee Mrs. Ganush's false teeth fall out. But instead of slowing her down, this makes the old hag even angrier (she lunges at Christine and starts gnawing on the poor girl’s chin). From that moment on, Mrs. Ganush grows steadily more disgusting each time we see her.

Much like The Evil Dead before it, Drag Me to Hell will scare the bejesus out of you and sometimes make you sick to your stomach. And I loved every minute of it!

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