So normally we wouldn’t be able to post this review until next week, but due to the film premiering in Cannes, they’ve allowed us to release our review early…
Finally! A horror film I actually enjoyed watching! Suspense, blood, and even comedy, without all the ridiculous over the top gore that the Saw-like films have taken over the genre with. For any of you who are fans of the Evil Dead series, Drag Me to Hell has plenty of throw backs to Sam Raimi‘s earlier works and styles. For those of you who don’t know the series, don’t worry, you don’t need to know his work to enjoy it, but be prepared to get a education on what a great horror film entails.
Many people have faulted Raimi for his recent Spider-Man 3 film. Instead of jumping into a 4th film (which studios would have gladly green-lit due to the massive successive Spidey has had), he decided to go back to his roots and re-discover what he loved about making film. As he said in a recent interview (which will be posted soon) making this film was like a vacation for him, which he was reminded of how much he is able to do without all the toys and extras.
His new film is about a loan officer, Christine (Lohman) who in a attempt to get a promotion, evicts an old woman (Raver) from her home. Unfortunately for her, she messed with the wrong little old lady. The women is a gypsy, who goes after Christine and puts a supernatural curse on her, which turns her life into a living hell (literally). Desperate, Christine turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
Alison Lohman’s character is more complex than your usual lead female protagonist. Although she has to be sweet and innocent, she also says and does things that show that’s she’s also willing to throw some punches. Many actresses come across as either soft an fragile or hard and edgy, but Lohman is the perfect mixture of both. She is as pretty as a picture and yet willing to do what many people wouldn’t. Her character, although sweet and good intentioned, gets thrown into situation after situation which forces her to release her demons from within, and when they do, watch out!
Lorna Raver, a well-known character actress from the stages of New York and Chicago is the perfect villain/victim. One of the great parts about Raimi’s horror films are his over the top, campy moments, which can be seen in certain dramatic performances. I will not go so far as to say that they’re over the top, but they’re definitely knocking on the ceiling. Raver was not afraid to tap into her background in stage performances and bring out the drama in her character, and as a result she was absolutely brilliant.
If there is any true, good-hearted person in the film, it’s Justin Long‘s character Clay. He never gives into all this supernatural nonsense, he sticks by his girlfriend and supports her no matter what. Although he doesn’t have a big role in the film or get a chance to deal with any of the supernatural occurrences, he’s charming to see on screen as our window into the events taking place.
The best part of this film is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not afraid to throw a laugh into the most intense scenes. Yes, it’s a horror film, but it’s made for people to enjoy. It’s the only movie that I’ve been to in a long time, where people’s responses added to the film. It’s a really fun movie, that keeps you engaged and interested in every moment.
Sam Raimi seems to think that “the horror audiences in the best audience in the world right now.” So don’t let or yourself him down and see the film in theaters May 29th 2009!