Review: Drag Me To Hell

Plot A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell.

Review Starring relative newcomer Alison Lohman, funny man Justin Long, and the incredible Lorna Raver, Drag Me To Hell is Sam Raimi's comeback ticket to the horror hall of fame, after a brief fling with his adaptation of the comic book Spiderman.

Drag Me To Hell follows Christine, a loan officer in a big banking corporation, who is on the verge of being promoted to Assistant Manager. Downtrodden and constantly shown up by new guy Stu (who is also hotly tipped for the same position), Christine is forced to make a 'tough decision' to evict an old lady from her home in order to brown-nose her way up the career ladder. Little does Christine know that one hell of a shit-storm lies ahead. Before you know it Christine is missing a button off her coat and is getting seven bells knocked out of her by an invisible creatures with hooves...

Directed by Sam Raimi, it's to be expected to have plenty of gross-out moments, enough to keep even the most juvenile of horror fans chuckling behind their popcorn, but the best bits are the action sequences; unlike a lot of modern horror movies, Raimi gives us horror with balls – you won't find any gutless one-slash murders in Drag Me To Hell, oh no. Instead we're served with five minute, full on, bloody battles between the leading lady (Lohman) and an old gyspy woman – a particularly nasty 'gumming' incident springs to mind, which will definitely make you think twice about kissing your Grandma next time!

Just when you think it can't get any weirder, you are hit by several other moments of random imagery including trotters under the doorway (reminiscent of something from The Power Rangers) and a possessed handkerchief! These visual distractions take you out of the movie somewhat, striking a balance by adding some light-hearted humour to an otherwise terror-filled movie. For those of you expecting a serious horror movie, you will be shocked - the film pokes fun at itself on every level throughout, with each gypsy encounter aggravating your gag reflex more than the last.

If you scratch beneath the surface of the obvious, childish, comedic imagery, there are some subtle touches throughout the film that subconsciously add to the tension and the mood. For example, the gothic undertones present in the film are heightened by the use of earthy tones and colours from the set down to the costumes – reflecting the main character's overwhelming sense of doom.

The tense atmosphere created, building up slowly with each scene, is organic and well constructed; from the use of music and sound effects right through to the canted camera angles and choice of delivery of lines by the actors. From the first moment when the old gypsy woman (who could win the 'most-creepy-old-woman-ever' award) attacks Christine in the parking lot, you know there are going to be plenty of jumps and scares in store!

At the heart of this film is a straight-laced moral tale; If you become a banker and sell an old lady down the river unnecessarily, you may well get dragged to hell! Not me – I never liked maths anyway; consider my buttons safe!


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