Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Drag Me To Hell - Dir. Sam Raimi

‘Drag Me To Hell’ is a god-damn good film, floating in a sea of horror plagued with sunken Hollywood remakes, and it also gives a revitalising kick to the comedy-horror genre.

Christine (Alison Lohman) is told to make the ‘hard’ decisions in her job at the local bank to seal a promotion, and the weathered old gypsy Mrs Ganush (Lorna Raver) is the unfortunate victim of this selfish act of personal greed and capitalism. But, she gets the last scratch (laugh, ruler, bite...) as she places a Lamia curse upon Christine. In three days she will be dragged into the depths of hell by an unspeakable evil force. What follows is a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat, over-the-top, suspense fuelled ride (reminiscent of Sam Raimi’s early Evil Dead films) through ninety-minutes of scary, disgusting and at times quite humorous (anvil, anybody?) scenes that make ‘DMTH’ an enjoyable and impressive film.

Raimi does what he does best, by allowing the surroundings to come to life – the rattling of doors and windows, the use of shadows – he takes a hold of the age old cinematic device of keeping the vision and display of the Lamia at bay and allowing our minds to fill in the blanks. A perfect example is a scene in which Christine is tripped in her own bedroom by the forces beyond. How can you combat, defeat or avoid something if you don’t know what, where or who it is. The tried-and-tested common horror conventions coupled with the slick editing of Bob Murawski (who virtually creates and sustains the menace of the penultimate scene), a solid central performance of Alison Lohman (who now knows the dangers of refusing a loan extension!) and the knowledgeable direction and experience of Sam Raimi makes ‘Drag Me To Hell’ one of the fair few horror films worth the admittance fee.

This film is nothing new, and nothing different. You will notice the subtle nods and homage’s through the humour and disgusting inventiveness of Raimi to the various films of the same veneer in the 1980’s and the early 1990’s, but what makes this film stand-out is that it ticks all the right boxes in audience expectation. It will make you jump, keep you tense, release a giggle and squirm a little, and most importantly: it is fun.
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