Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Reviewed on 2010 January 17
I was looking forward to seeing this, because a lot of the Raimi brothers’ work reminds me of all the Hammer Films and William Castle stuff I missed; I know you can find it on DVD but there’s just something about seeing it on the big screen. Drag Me to Hell was a movie I missed out on when it ran in the theaters and as it turns out, I’m sorry to say I didn’t miss much.
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a put-upon, ostensibly sweet person who has a boyfriend who loves her (Justin Long) and a so-so but steady job as a loan officer at a bank. She wants more, though: she is vying for a promotion against a real weasel named Stu (Greg Lee). In the classic tradition of overly-soft people trying to toughen up at the wrong time and not knowing what they’re getting into, Christine scores the ultimate own-goal. She denies a third extension to a sickly Rom woman (Lorna Raver). Sylvia Ganush was already granted two extensions on her home but Christine, trying to show her boss how tough she is, refuses one more. Facing eviction, the old woman pleads and finally curses Christine with a Lamia. From what I’ve read, in Greek mythology the Lamia originated in Libya as a beautiful queen turned into baby-eating demon. While that would help explain Gaddafi, in this film it’s like a gypsy Jiffy Cab to carry your enemy to Hell, and Christine only has three days to break the curse.
The acting was good, unless it was campy à la the stuff from the ’50s and ’60s and that worked. I had a real problem with something Christine did once she realized she was Lamia chow. Not only was it just horrifying, but I didn’t buy it because someone with her upbringing could have thought of a better alternative. (I know it may sound trivial but it helped ruin things for me. If you haven’t seen the movie and want to know about it email me.) The other problem I had was that I could see a lot of the stuff coming, including the ending (which I very much did like, I just wish I hadn’t spotted it).
Two chocolate morsels. Still a lot better than a lot of what calls itself horror nowadays.