Drag Me to Hell (2009) Poster

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  • Elderly Gypsy Mrs Ganush (Lorna Raver) asks loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) for a third extension on her loan payments due to health problems, but Christine denies the extension, so Mrs Ganush places a curse on Christine, damning her soul to Hell and making her life a living nightmare. Pursued by spirits and a lamia, Christine tries to get the curse removed.

  • Drag Me to Hell is a horror film co-written by Ivan and Sam Raimi (who also directed the movie). It contains elements of Jacques Torneur's Night of the Demon (1957) (1957), which was based on "Casting of the Runes" (1911), a short story by English scholar and ghost-story writer M(ontague) R(hodes) James. The story is in the public domain and can be read online here.

  • It is a horror film, but many of the scary sequences contain outlandishly over-the-top elements, which some viewers will find comical. One example is the nose bleed scene. These parts of the film are similar to Raimi's earlier film Evil Dead II (1987) (1987), which also contains over-the-top horror scenes. Several film critics have given the film positive reviews, calling it both terrifying and hilarious.

  • In Greek mythology, Lamia was a Libyan queen who was seduced by Zeus and who bore him several children. In a fit of jealousy, Zeus's wife Hera killed all of Lamia's children. Lamia is usually depicted as a beautiful woman from the waist up but as a snake from the waist down. In her grief over the loss of her children, Lamia took to eating the children of other women and to captivating men in order to suck their blood. The uncapitalized form, lamia (plural lamiae), is often used generally to refer to demons, usually women, who kill human babies and drink men's blood. Alternately, they are sometimes described as vampires or succubi. Lamia was the subject of a narrative poem written by English poet John Keats in 1819, the text of which can be read online here.

  • Animal lovers should be forewarned that a kitten is killed, off-camera, in a misguided attempt to save a human soul. You don't actually see the kitten getting killed. Christine learns that animal sacrifice is a possible means of appeasing the lamia, thereby saving herself, so she takes a large butcher knife and calls out, "Here kitty kitty kitty kitty ..." There's a shot of the house and a snarling cat sound. Next thing we see is her burying something in the backyard that is small, furry, and the same color as the kitten. Some viewers may find this scene objectionable. The Lamia spits out the kitten's "soul" (looking a lot like its carcass) during the seance, which viewers might also find disturbing. The unrated cut is more graphic, including a shot of Christine stabbing the kitten (which remains off camera) multiple times, with blood splashing onto her as she does. The shot of the kitten being buried is also more graphic (the knife wounds are visible for a split second before they are obscured by dirt).

  • When Christine and Clay were in the car, she had some of his papers on her lap, along with her bag and the envelope with her coat button. Viewers had seen previously that when Clay was given a coin earlier by Christine that he had put the coin in an unmarked envelope and into his bag. When Clay quickly braked, the bag, envelope, and Clay's papers fell to the floor. In the papers that Clay was bringing home with him was the white envelope that had the quarter that Christine gave him. Since Christine couldn't have known that Clay hadn't taken the envelope with the quarter home with him, she simply assumed that what she found was the envelope with her button in it.

  • Christine decides to end the whole conflict with the Lamia, so she takes the envelope containing the button to Mrs. Ganush's grave and buries it with her. The next morning, she goes to meet Clay (Justin Long) at the train station and he gives her the envelope with the button; it turns out Christine had buried Clay's coin with Mrs. Ganush, which was in a similar envelope. Christine falls backwards onto the train tracks, and as a train speeds toward her, demonic hands burst from the ground and grab her. She screams in terror for help, but Clay is unable to assist because the train is still passing overhead. As she is dragged down into Hell, the skin on her face appears to melt away, and the last time we see her, she has no eyelids or lips, and is still screaming for help as the ground closes above her trapping her within Hell forever. In the last shot of the film, Clay stares in horror from the ground to the button he is still clutching and back to the ground.

  • Upon its release the movie got a PG-13 rating and director Sam Raimi confirmed that this is basically his intended version and that there are no real changes due to the lower rating. On Blu-ray/DVD the movie got released in two versions nonetheless: the well-known theatrical version and the so-called Unrated Director's Cut, both featured on on the same disc. Several changes can be found, mostly due to alternative material resulting from changed effects and so on.


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