Sam Raimi, you are my hero. I’m a huge, huge fan of the original The Evil Dead, so when Raimi returned to horror in ‘09 with Drag Me to Hell, I couldn’t wait. And now, years later, I still freaking love this movie. It’s nearly perfect and should be in every horror fan’s collection. Christine Brown, a shy girl with a serious lack of confidence, runs into a stroke of bad luck as a loan officer at a bank. After denying a grimy looking woman an extension on her mortgage in an effort to ensure a promotion, Christine is attacked by the woman, who puts an ancient curse on her. Christine then has three days to rid herself of this curse before she is literally dragged to hell.
There aren’t enough good things I can say about this film. It’s scary, creepy, disgusting, frustrating, entertaining and silly in all the right ways. Some of the scenes are truly gross, reminding me of The Evil Dead, which was a nice touch. Nothing about this film is boring and the time flies by with jumpy moments and what-the-hell-just-happened scenarios. Plus, the plot and character development is outstanding. Christine is a lot like Carrie White in that she’s always getting stepped on or passed on by people; she’s someone you’re rooting for from literally the first time you see her. The survival fear in this movie is off the charts; Christine becomes more and more desperate as her fate draws near, forcing her to do things she never would have done before. This movie, more than any film I’ve seen, illustrates just how powerful fear and desperation can be. It shows us what lengths people will go to simply for release from that fear - even ruining another person’s life for theirs.
The best thing about this movie is its villain. Sure, Mrs. Ganush is disgusting and creepy, but she’s not the true villain of this film. Is it the supernatural curse she places on Christine? Nope. Although, that curse is a real bitch. In my opinion, the true villain of this film is just plain bad luck. That’s right, bad luck. It’s simply bad luck Mrs. Ganush winds up at Christine’s bank, begging for an extension. And poor Christine, how was she to know turning this woman down would result in such horror? Everything that happens to Christine is the result of bad luck, which makes it that much more frustrating and heartbreaking. It also allows the audience to root for her even more, since her situation is so undeserving.
No review I could write would do this film the justice it deserves. This is horror at it’s finest; it is beautiful, terrifying horror. The only, only imperfection is a small one and not one Raimi really could control. I found the scenes to be very much CGI’d which sometimes bugged me, but it’s not 1972 anymore and technology is everywhere in horror. It felt a little strange for Raimi, master of The Evil Dead, to use so much CGI, but what can you do?
Drag Me to Hell is a horror masterpiece. It combines everything great about horror into a stunningly entertaining film. I love, love, love this film. Plot development, strong characters, gore, fear, good dialogue, and one hell of a villain come together in this movie and let’s face it, how often does that happen in horror? Horror island beware - you thought Myers was bad? How’s a good dose of bad luck for ya?
If you liked Drag Me to Hell, you might also like Carrie, The Possession and Sinister.