I will start this review off with one simple fact: I love Sam Raimi. I remember staying up late at night as a child watching the original “Evil Dead” through the corners of my fingers. It scared the hell out of me but, at the same time, there was something genuinely gratuitously amazing about the film. It was bold, bloody, filled with puss and maggots, and gore. It was incredible. If the nine year old me at the time could have married anything, it would have been The Evil Dead.
After the Evil Dead trilogy, Raimi pretty much stayed away from horror (not including the excellent and sorely underrated “The Gift”). That is until 2009 when Raimi splashed his way back into the scene with “Drag Me to Hell.” I’ll be the first to admit that I had no desire to see “Drag Me to Hell.” PG-13? Yawn. Ancient spirits? Double yawn. Justin Long? I think I’m falling asleep already. Little did I know what I had coming.
The plot is relatively simple. Determined to impress her boss and get a much-needed promotion at work, Christine Brown lays down the law when mysterious Mrs. Ganush literally comes begging for mercy at her feet. In retaliation for being publicly shamed, Mrs. Ganush places the dreaded curse of the Lamia on her unfortunate target, transforming Christine’s life into a waking nightmare. Her skeptical boyfriend, Clay, casually brushing off her disturbing encounters as mere coincidence, Christine attempts to escape eternal damnation by seeking out the aid of seer Rham Jas. But Christine’s time is fast running out, and unless she’s able to break the curse, she’ll be tormented by a demon for three days before literally being dragged to hell.
What follows is gore, gore, and more gore. How this film was granted a PG-13 I’ll never know. A waterfall of a nosebleed, gooey dentures, dancing goats, maggots…if you can imagine it, it’s here. The film works as a social satire (the death of the middle and lower classes) and as a horror/comedy (the ritual at the end has to be seen to be believed). The performances are top natch and the ending is quite ballsy in its conviction (you’ll see it coming a mile away but will be surprised they actually follow through on it). Overall though, if you love movies like “The Evil Dead”, “Army of Darkness”, or “Cabin Fever”, it’s a must watch. It is one of the best horror films of 2009.
Buy it here: Drag Me to Hell (Unrated Director’s Cut) [Blu-ray]