I am sure I wasn’t alone in experiencing unabashed excitement when the news broke that Sam Raimi was coming back. A return to his roots. The same roots that were responsible for making him the international superstar director that he is today. Horror/Comedy fans wanted “their” director back. No more bullshit emo sequels made to appease the franchise overlords. Not that we weren’t happy for Sam, but c’mon, he is ours and we had him first. No more sharing.
There was never any doubt Drag Me to Hell would be anything less than a scary, bloody, and wild ride. This is of course, because Raimi is the undisputed master blender of scares, laughs, and squirmy moments. He delivers once again on all accounts. New and old fans will find much to appreciate in this throwback classic; especially the hardcore fans. They will love all the references and homages to Raimi’s original franchise (Evil Dead), including the appearance of the “classic” 1973 Oldsmobile Delta. I know I did.
The film follows Alison Lohman (in the Bruce Campbell role) and her boyfriend Justin “how the hell did I go from Mac commercials to landing a million roles” Long through the misadventures of pissing off an old gypsy woman. The two lessons I have gleamed from movies are: 1. Never get involved in a land war in Asia, and 2. Don’t piss of gypsies. Lohman does the latter, in an attempt to show off to her boss, by denying a crazy gypsy an extension on her home loan. Big mistake. The gypsy throws down one hell of a curse on pretty little Lohman.
What is so much fun about this film are the gross out moments. Drag Me to Hell is loaded with ‘em. The gypsy lady, Mrs. Ganush, is quite literally the ugliest person on Earth. Along with her grossness, she has a penchant for losing her dentures and trying to gum poor Lohman to death. Of course, she is also usually oozing some sort of disgusting slime at the same time. It is the squirm in your seat kinda thing Raimi has been perfecting since his early days of flying eyeballs and pencil stabs through the ankle.
At one point a goat comes into play. This is the finest scene in the movie. Both hilarious and scary at the same time, Raimi shows off his talents from technical, artistic, and entertainment standpoints flawlessly. And, oh yeah, the goat absolutely steals the scene. I am thinking the goat should get at two picture deal with Lion’s Gate after that role.
The ending of the film is not as happy-go-lucky as some would hope. To me, that is the point. Happy endings belong in Disney movies, not horror. Yes, you can see the end coming from a mile away, but it’s still fun. This is a throwback film and anything less would have been an insult to the genre.
Thanks for coming back Sam!
Snore Factor: Z (Will keep you up all night)