Drag Me to Hell Review
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Over the last few years, director Sam Raimi has come a long way from his early filmmaking days, when he directed low-budget horror flicks like Army of Darkness and The Evil Dead. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. Though his Spider-Man movies have boasted huge budgets—and huge box office returns—they just haven’t had the same soul as his early films. So, when I went to see Raimi’s so-called “return to classic horror,” I was admittedly a bit hesitant. Fortunately, though, Raimi’s still got that soul—though his main character is seriously in danger of losing hers.

Drag Me to Hell stars Alison Lohman as Christine Brown, an ambitious young loan officer who’s desperate to put her days as a fat farm girl behind her and win her dream job as the bank’s assistant manager. According to her boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer), that means being able to make the tough decisions. So when a creepy old woman (Lorna Raver) comes in to ask for a third extension on her mortgage, Christine decides to impress Mr. Jacks by denying the request. But, as it turns out, Mr. Jacks isn’t the one whom Christine should have been worried about.

As Christine leaves work that day, the old woman attacks her—and places a curse on her. After she starts hearing things, she visits a seer (Dileep Rao), who tells her that she’s got three days to break the curse before it steals her soul and drags her to hell.

Now, after reading my quick summary, you might think that Drag Me to Hell is just another scary movie—complete with all the usual cheap scares and horror movie clichés. And, in a way, it is. It’s got the creepy gypsy woman (with a wonky eye)…the big, old house…even a sweet, innocent kitty cat. Still, as far as classic-style horror movies go, this is the best I’ve seen in ages. It’s intense and unrelenting, and there’s rarely a break in the action and suspense.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a Sam Raimi horror movie (which he co-wrote with older brother and Army of Darkness co-writer, Ivan). And that means that none of the clichés are taken seriously. The Raimis are well aware that they’re using horror clichés—and they have a whole lot of fun doing it. So, although Drag Me to Hell is tense and horrifying, it’s also laugh-out-loud hilarious—and sometimes it’s just flat-out insane (though not quite as insane as Army of Darkness).

Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with the Raimis’ earlier films, you might be a bit confused by the whole thing (like the guy sitting next to me, who kept asking, “Is this supposed to be a comedy?”). But it’s okay; you’re allowed to laugh. In fact, you’re supposed to laugh. And it’s a good thing, too—because it’ll give you a much-needed opportunity to let out that breath you’ve been holding.

Drag Me to Hell is like carnival haunted house. It’s dark and creepy and gruesome—and it’s more than a little bit cheesy. You’ll walk out of the theater laughing—but you might not be able to sleep that night, either. All in all, it’s one hell of an entertaining ride.

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