Movie Name: Drag Me to Hell
Studio: Ghost House Pictures
Release Date(s): March 15, 2009 (South by Southwest)/May 29, 2009 (U.S.)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is trying to make a stab at getting a big appointment at her bank. When she denies another loan to a woman (Lorna Raver) on the verge of losing her home, Sylvia Ganush curses Christine. Now a Lamia is coming for Christine and it is going to drag her to hell for eternity. With the help of her boyfriend Clayton Dalton (Justine Long) and psychics Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) and Shaun San Dena (Adriana Barraza), Christine must find a way to break the curse and free herself before she is sentenced to an eternity in Hell.
Directed by Sam Raimi, Drag Me to Hell was highly acclaimed by critics and was a throwback to Raimi’s early days of films like The Evil Dead. With a low budget, Drag Me to Hell was also a big box office moneymaker for its theatrical release.
Drag Me to Hell is almost a gross-out comedy. The horror is very cartoon and there are few jumps. Alison Lohman is constantly assaulted with vomit, exploding heads, and hair pulling demons. There aren’t very many movies (even horror) that have their main actress take a beating like Lohman does (and still looks great despite the blood and guts).
It is totally unrealistic and there are tons of plot holes, but it still is quite fun. Lohman can get attacked in the parking lot off her office but no one acknowledges it the next day. She also can vomit blood all over her boss but when her boyfriend calls, they forget to pass that on to him. The whole storyline with Shaun San Dena seems like a waste of time and with so many unrelated events, it almost feels like Raimi was looking for fillers when the movie came up too short. I also find some of the special effects kind of weak with them looking very computer generated (like the eyes popping out).
Lohman does a good job holding the movie together. She’s not a great actress, but it is fun to see her character trying to play out of character (a former pudgy farm girl). As the movie goes on, she reverts back to her farm girl roots by getting her accent back, eating dairy and fatty foods, and being more of a scrapper (willing to kill her kitten).
*****Spoiler Alert***** I do have issues with the ending of the film which seemed obvious with the envelop mix-up. I did like the whole graveyard scene, but the I felt in the last scene that Lohman should go to the ultimate low and give the button back to her boyfriend. It would show ultimate corruption and darkness. It also is a strange ending because despite of her admission that she could have saved the house, I didn’t really have a problem with her evicting the old lady or “shaming her” when the lady attacked her in the bank…A “good” person is killed and damned forever for no real reason.
Drag Me to Hell isn’t very good in my opinion but it is fun. I like its goofiness and its unrelenting attack on its star. Sam Raimi has made better films so I even wished a bit more for this. With such success, I’m surprised a Drag Me to Hell 2 has never made it to the screen with a different story.