Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Drag Me to Hell


(2009)****

Loan Officer Christine Brown is living an idyllic Southern California, post-college, lifestyle. She has a good job at a bank, her promotion is looking likely, and she's datin a young college professor. Then, in order to cement that promotion, she denies a loan extension to a crusty, old, denture-wearing, candy-stealing gypsy. The result: Christine is cursed. She discovers this quickly enough through a chance encounter with a psychic. The rest of the film is spent with Christine simulataneously being tortured by an evil spirit and trying to find a way out of her curse.

I tried to avoid comparing this film to the Evil Dead series, but seeing as how this is his first true horror film since then (A Simple Plan and The Gift are in a different vein), I couldn't help but put these films side by side. That said, Drag Me to hell is basically a more polished version of the earlier Evil Dead films. The effects are better, certainly. They can still be categorized as terrifying, yet oddly funny. Alison Lohman isn't quite as charismatic as Bruce Campbell, but she certainly has her moments. The script too, while a basic horror film has a little more plot and character development from the Evil Dead series.

This film wasn't terribly successful at the box office. One could wonder why the Evil Dead cult fans didn't turn out in droves for this. Well, Evil Dead, I think developed such a cult following based slightly on the camp factor, which is almost entirely gone from this film.

Still, for anyone out there who found Evil Dead a bit too over-the-top, I think this film is a nice compromise for more traditional horror film fans.




3 comments:

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Interesting... I had this movie on my coffee table, ready to roll but accidentally returned it (in the Deathbed envelope which resulted in much Netflix confusion and I don't want to talk about it). I still hope to watch it but do I still have time? Where the devil did my October go?!

I didn't realize this was a box office flop. Perhaps (if it's that good) it will find its niche in cult horror history like the other Evil Deads did.

And don't get me started on how much I love A Simple Plan.

Octopunk said...

I'm not that huge a fan of A Simple Plan but I loooove The Gift.

Did I mention that I saw the world premiere of Drag Me To Hell at Grauman's Chinese Theater? Oh, I did? Well, there ya go.

JPX said...

I had a great time watching this with whirlygirl while drinking beer at the cinemapub. It's a fun little film that is more evil dead 2 than evil dead. I have no idea why it didn't do better. Perhaps poor marketing?