Drag Me to Hell (2009) Directed by Sam Raimi. With Alsion Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao and David Paymer.
After the responsibility and inherent pressure of guiding a franchise as huge as the Spider-Man trilogy, writer-director Sam Raimi goes back to his horror roots with the curiously titled Drag Me To Hell.
Anyone with affection for Raimi’s early work, namely The Evil Dead, ought to be in for some simple horror fun with this straightforward story of a young woman (Alison Lohman) fighting to shake off a curse placed upon her by a vindictive old hag. Horror hounds rejoice, for in many ways, Drag Me To Hell recalls a bygone era of genre film-making in the way that it showcases a more hands-on approach to its many gross-out moments, fronting and centring on-location, physical effects with CGI to back things up.
As has previously been the case with Raimi, there are lighter beats played throughout, however, it’d be a stretch to tag it horror-comedy as for the most part it aims to have you squirm in your seat. In the lead, Alison Lohman is good casting as a not-all-too familiar face, however, the star of the show is undoubtedly Lorna Raver’s Mrs Ganush – a character so abhorrent, it’s often hard to look upon her without a grimace. One early set-piece involving Lohman and Raver is perhaps the films most memorable moment and indeed serves as the set-up for the plot.
Raimi might not have created anything particularly iconic here, but what he has done is reminded us all what a fun director he can be, given a very simple storyline with some good old-fashioned thrills. Part tongue-in-cheek homage, part horror chiller, Drag Me To Hell does enough to keep you invested and gives you plenty to put you off your popcorn along the way. 3.5/5