Visuals / Camera
Pacing / Editing
Entertainment Value / X-Factor
Mood / Atmosphere
It's nice to see Sam Raimi return to his horror roots.
Drag Me to Hell can be a bit silly at times, but it's definitely an entertaining flick.
Drag Me To Hell Plot Summary
Christine Brown is an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a charming boyfriend and a seemingly good life. That is, until a mysterious woman arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Christine denies the extension and the woman loses her home. In retaliation, the old woman places a powerful curse on Christine, transforming her life into a living hell.
Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by a skeptical boyfriend, she seeks the aid of a psychic, whom sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. As evil forces close in, Christine must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse?
I think most horror fans have been anticipating this film for quite some time. It’s Sam Raimi’s big return to horror. When I went to watch The Last House on The Left (2009) it was the first time I had seen the trailer for Drag Me to Hell and I was instantly intrigued. While watching the trailer I was reminded of Stephen King’s: Thinner which is also a movie that I really enjoy. At the end of the trailer, I knew that I would be seeing this movie in theaters. Preferably, I would be seeing the movie opening day. Needless to say, I succeeded in my goal. Right now, I am writing this review as I have just returned from seeing the movie in theaters.
With the promotion surrounding the release of this movie I knew that it couldn’t fail in its theatrical run. I knew that the theaters would be packed, so my buddy and I left fairly early. I knew that we would possibly need to get our tickets in advance in case the seats were sold out. So, after getting some grub and cruising the mall a bit, we went to go snag up some tickets for the latest showing. I talked to the ticket taker a bit about scary movies. She said that the movie was obviously a big hit. They were dedicating two screens to it and she said both screens had almost sold out all day. I also knew the latest showings would be the most popular. So, we ended up waiting in the theater about an hour before show time. Luckily, we were the first ones in line and yes, there was quite a line forming behind us. Finally, we were being let in and we grabbed the seats that we had been waiting so long for.
After partially watching the surplus of previews, the movie finally started. Let me tell you; I have seen a ton of movies in theaters and I have never seen an audience so vocal about a movie. Friday The 13th (2009) was close, but this audience was just erupting. There is a ton of scary/boo scenes, disgusting scenes and even some funny scenes. When something scary happened nearly everyone in the theater either jumped and/or screamed. When there was something gross nearly everyone made sounds of disgust. When there were funny scenes, nearly everyone laughed. The person I was with actually jumped quite a few times. I was witnessing some people jump completely out of their seats. Also, there was a girl behind me whom actually screamed so loud at one point that she left my ears ringing. Even though I will probably need a hearing aid after seeing this movie (haha) it was definitely a fun theater experience.
As soon as the movie starts, so does the action. You don’t have to worry about being bored to death when seeing this film. When Alison Lohman’s character, Christine Brown, receives the curse; the demon is just unrelenting. It’s constantly hounding her and reminding her that she made a very poor decision by upsetting the person who placed it on her; especially when she could have avoided the whole situation. We also see just how far Christine Brown is willing to go to rid herself of this horrible curse that has taken over her life. It was also nice to see Justin Long in something besides those Apple/Mac commercials. I think he did well with his role in this movie which was being the supportive boyfriend of Alison Lohman’s character.
This movie packs a ton of scary, gross and funny scenes. The scary scenes were obviously great. The sound is intense and things just happen at the most awkward of times. This movie has a ton of jumpy scenes in it, but they all have awkward timing. It’s hard to expect the precise timing on some of them. Combine that with some very loud surround sound and you’re in for a treat. The gross scenes really got to some people. It was hilarious to just hear and watch everyone’s reaction to those parts of the movie. I actually laughed during some of the funny scenes, but some just seemed way over the top. One scene actually reminded me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but I’m thinking that it was obviously shot to be that way. Oh, and there was at least one scene I remember that reminded me of the Evil Dead movies. I don’t think it was needed, or possibly just added in there at the wrong time, but it was nice to see Raimi throw something like that in there.
Another thing I noticed about this movie was the great use of music. No, I’m not talking about a pop/rock song playing at the beginning of the movie, either. I’m talking about an actual horror theme. Also, I really liked it when the movie title was displayed. There was nothing fancy about it at all. ‘Drag Me to Hell‘ just popped up on the screen in huge white letters against a black background. It may seem odd that I am mentioning this in the review, but you’ll understand once you have seen the movie. I’m sure someone will have to comment on that. I mean, I hope I’m not the only person in the world who liked that for some reason.
I do have to admit something, though. I was immediately drawn to this movie the first time I had seen the trailer for it. However, while waiting on the actual movie to hit theaters I watched a ton of clips, TV spots and interviews for this movie. After seeing more and more previews for this movie I started to become a bit worried. I am personally not a fan of CGI and the trailers/TV spots for the movie made it look like this movie was going to be loaded with a ton of CGI. Thankfully, I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some CGI in this movie. However, those scenes were also very short. Most of the CGI in this movie was actually shown in the previews. Also, the CGI in Drag Me to Hell was done very well. It wasn’t too intense. Either that or I have been fooled. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if I was fooled the CGI must have been pulled off fairly well.
It was nice to see Sam Raimi return to the world of horror. I must say, I think he did a really good job with Drag Me to Hell. Let’s hope he does some more horror films in the future. If he continues doing them, I will continue to watch them. I will most likely go see this film again in theaters and I will also be picking it up once it is available on DVD / Blu-Ray
Some parts are pretty funny.
The film has some nice music.
Justin Long and Alison Lohman do a great job in the film.
Good plot. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen gypsies in horror.
Some of the cinematography and special effects will definitely remind you that you’re watching a Sam Raimi flick.
The jump scares are fairly well-timed.
This movie is definitely capable of grossing some people out.
Some of the scenes that are supposed to be funny can definitely be a bit over-the-top and corny at times.
It was nice to see Raimi tackle another horror film project and overall I think he put together a nice little flick. Don’t expect anything close to Evil Dead — instead, expect a fun little horror flick with some nice gross-out moments.