By Dave Campbell | May 10, 2009
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer(s): Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Jessica Lucas, David Paymer, Dileep Rao
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a competitive yet heartfelt loan officer with a caring boyfriend, Professor Clay Dalton (Justin Long). Things are looking up until the an old Gypsy woman, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) shows up at her desk begging for a loan extension to save her home. Christine is torn between her choices to assist the old woman or deny the extension to impress her boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer), so she can solidify a pending promotion. The pressure builds and Christine hesitantly denies the request which puts the home towards foreclosure and shames Mrs. Ganush. In response to this great disrespect, the old woman places the curse of the Lamia on Christine making her life a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by her boyfriend, Christine seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) to save her soul and bring normalcy to her life as evil forces move closer and her time runs out.
Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man trilogy, Evil Dead series) returns to horror with Drag Me to Hell. Raimi was on hand for this special South By Southwest 2009 (work in progress) screening of the film, and it was a pretty special night indeed. He came out to a standing ovation and proceeded to present the audience with his own solo Three Stooges style shtick before kicking off the film. With a packed house of critics, writers, horror geeks, and fan boys, Drag Me To Hell received a booming response of oohs, ahhs, LOLs, and aaahs!
Though not the final edit, with unfinished special effects shots, and missing some sound/musical queues, this film buzzed with horrific comedic fun reminiscent of Raimi days of old. There are gross out moments galore throughout this experience and you find yourself almost looking away but then laughing at the same time. Raimi gives the fans what they want by including moments of bad taste and pleasurable horror clichés. During the middle of a pivotal creepy moment of the film, a living, breathing, Austin, TX bat flew circles around the huge open space over the classic downtown Paramount Theater crowd…you just knew Sam Raimi was giving himself a high-five when the stars aligned to make that happen.
It’s a pretty basic story and offers many nostalgic moments, but if you’re looking for an Evil Dead 4 you’ve come to the wrong place. It’s a really fun movie and will be remembered for its shock and gore moments. The acting performances are not on par with Raimi’s works like A Simple Plan or the Gift and don’t include a main character like Ash (Bruce Campbell). Drag Me To Hell falls somewhere in-between all of that. It seems very much like a nod to fans and himself, before he puts the serious hat back on and does another Spider-Man sequel or more dramatic piece.