A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
Christine Brown is a loans officer at a bank but is worried about her lot in life. She's in competition with a competent colleague for an assistant manager position and isn't too sure about her status with a boyfriend. Worried that her boss will think less of her if she shows weakness, she refuses a time extension on a loan to an old woman, Mrs. Ganush, who now faces foreclosure and the loss of her house. In retaliation, the old woman place a curse on her which, she subsequently learns, will result in her being taken to hell in a few days time. With the help of a psychic, she tries to rid herself of the demon, but faces several hurdles in the attempt. Written by
From the intense opening scene to the stellar and shocking finale, Sam Raimi has officially returned to the horror genre with vigor and spark in the year's best horror film so far. Starring Alison Lohman in the leading role (Ellen Page was originally cast as the lead but dropped out of the project early in production), Drag Me to Hell feels like much more than your average, predictable horror popcorn flick. It's filled with plenty of twists and turns and, like any good ride, a satisfying conclusion. And the PG-13 rating? Forget about it! You hardly notice that little factor because of how immersed you become in the story. Also starring are Justin Long, David Paymer, and Lorna Raver.
Christine (Lohman), a loan officer at a bank with a lovely boyfriend (Long), is being considered for a promotion. Jumping at the opportunity, she comes across an old gypsy woman (Raver) who requests a third extension on her house. Her boss (Paymer) tells her it's a tough decision, and its her call, so she refuses the woman's payment. Absolutely infuriated, the woman stalks Christine after work and bestows her with a supernatural curse, one which she has only three days to overcome before the spirits drag her to hell.
Lucky enough to have won tickets to a pre-screening of the film, I had heard nothing but great things about it. I was hoping for the best, but I wasn't sure how the comedy and horror would mix together. Much to my surprise, the horror and comedy in Drag Me to Hell are that rare perfect mix of perfection that one craves in horror movies. If too funny, they can go overboard, but not this one. In fact, I don't think I've seen quite a proper mixture since Raimi's own Evil Dead II.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about the movie is how well it's made technically. It had all sorts of interesting shots and the real work of a master filmmaker. Having both written and directed the film, Sam Raimi more than proves his worth to the horror genre despite his long absence since Army of Darkness. In ways, this is also a sort of revival of what people with think of PG-13 horror movies. Drag Me to Hell is one of the most intense, scary horror films in quite some time, despite the PG-13 rating which many tag as already crap.
Drag Me to Hell is full of its epic shocks, and the less you go in knowing about it the better. I could go on for hours about the movie and spoil everything there is to know, but that would truly ruin some of its appeal. Which is certainly not to say that it is lost after a first viewing, just that it's an experience unlike any other going into this movie watching virtually no clips and reading very little about it. It becomes a truly rewarding experience.
Mrs. Ganush is one truly phenomenal villain that provides plenty of scares. Lorna Raver infuses the role with an enthusiasm - an terror - that is rarely seen in big-screen baddies. She has more personality than The Ring's Samara for sure. Clay's character provides a much-needed balance between the goofy and the horrific, and helps make the film's heroine, Christine, all the more believable. It was an interesting twist to see Justin Long in a horror film, despite the nature of his role. I believed his performance and the sincerity of his character. Lohman had a lot resting on her shoulders with this movie, and she totally pulled it off with flying colors. Nobody plays the terrified, but headstrong and determined female lead better than Lohman, and she proves her worth over and over again in this movie. She totally has a career ahead of her.
Overall, Drag Me to Hell did more than just impress me nonstop. It was a masterpiece of a horror movie, with unrivaled intensity, scares, and one killer of an ending. More often now, horror directors/writers seem to have such a difficult time ending their movies properly. This one has an ending which snugly solidifies the movie as an early contender for best horror film of the year. Don't miss Drag Me to Hell... you will never look at handkerchiefs the same way!
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