Sam Raimi has returned to his horror movie roots with Drag me to Hell, a movie staring Alison Lohman as Christine Brown and Justin Long as her college professor boyfriend, annoyingly named Clay.
Christine finds herself playing the quiet, blonde, homely, formerly fat, farm girl now working in a bank role. As she is up for promotion Christine unwisely asserts her new found authority on an elderly woman who has fallen behind on her mortgage payments. Mrs Ganush, (a fantastic Lorna Raver) doesn’t take to kindly to her eviction attacks Christine in the bank parking bay and puts a curse on her causing her to be literally dragged down to hell in three days time.
It all seems quite run of the mill but Drag me to Hell is a horror movie that is actually intentionally funny. The fight between Mrs Ganush and Christine in the car is one of the most original and hysterically entertaining fights between two females ever to be shot.
The plot moves on towards more conventional horror movie expectations and if you allow yourself to let go and enjoy the movie all the usual scares and jumps are there. What makes Drag me to Hell stand out is the fact that whilst the scares are happening and the tension is building the outcome is so purposefully full of black humour you cant help but laugh. All this is done without one drop of blood, with the exception of a scene in the bank which was more of a shout-out to past Raimi movies.
The general trend in Hollywood is “the more gore - the less scares” and Drag me to Hell used this formula in reverse so well.
The séance and graveyard scenes were so tense yet also so ridiculously bizarre (the talking goat to name but one!) you couldn’t help but laugh through your fear.
As with most movies you have to suspend disbelief and as a movie lover I do judge each movie on its own merit and take it for what it is but even my imagination will never be able to believe Justin Long is a professor of psychology. If I had to pick a fault in the movie then that would be it.
I would thoroughly recommend Drag me to Hell. If the recent overindulgence of gorno doesn’t do anything for you (it doesn’t for me) then this is a solid return to supernatural horror. I would give it an 8/10.