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I'd heard about this and liked the sound of the title so I decided to give it a watch. But as with most horrors with a cool title, the actual film itself was disappointing.
The basic premise involves the supernatural, so be prepared. We're introduced to Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), a loan officer in L.A. She's got a good life going for herself and a decent guy, Professor Clay Dalton (Justin Long). But as with most happy stories, this doesn't last. Christine has the unfortunate task of evicting an elderly woman, Mrs Ganush, from her home. This comes back to bite her when the old woman turns up in the office asking for some compassion and an extension on her loan for the house. Torn between being a nice person and being ambitious, Christine chooses the latter and ruthlessly stands her ground, hoping that such a move would impress her boss.
Obviously devastated, the old woman turns angry. Skip forward a little while and the result is that Mrs Ganush has cast a curse upon Christine, a supernatural spell that means she is now haunted by an evil spirit. So, what does one do when haunted by an evil spirit? She tries to save her soul by seeing a psychic of course. But can she find what she needs to do and break free of the spell before her living hell drags her further into hell?
This flick was directed by Sam Rami, who has much experience is directing, producing and writing (including 30 Days Of Night, Spider Man & The Grudge), so he knows his horror genre. Whilst the film still had a higher quality feel to it, I really did wonder why he made some of the choices he did; it was like he tried to suck any thrill / horror from it at times.
The premise was quite basic, just a re-hash of what's been done time and time again really. Someone gets angry, casts a spell, and the unfortunate receiver of the spell spends what seems like an eternity searching for an answer in the most stereotypical of places. I can't say that anything really made me think this film offered anything new or original. I also don't think it really made me feel anything, it wasn't emotive, except for perhaps the first few scenes involving the old woman's eviction. The whole curse thing was just a bit of a blur that I lost interest in.
The thing that annoyed me the most was probably the lack of a creepy, thrilling edge. Even the most boring, run-of-the-mill plots can resuscitate itself a bit with the use of good characters, script and atmosphere. But this just didn't create anything with what it had, leaving me feel disappointed. Many of the scenes, especially nearer the end, were actually just laughable. This wasn't a film I could 'get in to', identify with or watch easy.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this. It's unoriginal and laughable, it's not really even that easy to watch because I felt like it was drivel.
Selling on Amazon for £4.19
Rated certificate 15, running time 99 minutes.
Drag me to Hell is a funny, smart horror film which waves its fan boy credentials around for geeks everywhere, it is a fun filled, action packed slice of silliness with one of the funniest evil monsters I have ever seen in a motion picture. The film has had mixed reviews and I completely understand why, it isn't terrifying and it doesn't have moments of subtle brilliance, it is brash, in your face and fun, and I really enjoyed it, and I don't even like this kind of film generally.
Christine (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious bank cashier, one day a creeply looking one eyed gypsy lady, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) visits her to ask for a third extension on her home, despite having no collateral or anything going for her other than the looks and personality to make a great villain in a schlock-horror comedy film.
Unsurprisingly Christine takes a tough line and refuses the extension, also unsurprisingly this starts a chain of events which you are unlikely to see in your local Santander anytime soon (Well at least until Interest rates rise anyhow!!).
Mrs Ganush attacks Christine in the Car park, steals a button and unleashes a terrible curse on her. As Christine finds a psychic willing to help her Rham Jas (Dileep Rao), she learns that the curse pertains to an ancient beast who will drag her to hell if she doesn't break the curse. The film follows Christine as all manner of horrible things happen to her, will she break the curse and live on, or, and some friends who've seen this actually see this as a worse resolution, will she be free of the curse to live with her drippy other half Clay Dalton (Justin Long).
Alison Lohman...Christine Brown
Justin Long...Clay Dalton
Lorna Raver...Sylvia Ganush
Dileep Rao...Rham Jas
David Paymer...Mr. Jacks
Adriana Barraza...Shaun San Dena
Chelcie Ross...Leonard Dalton
Reggie Lee..Stu Rubin
Molly Cheek...Trudy Dalton
Bojana Novakovic...Ilenka Ganush
Alexis Cruz...Farm Worker
Ruth Livier...Farm Worker's Wife
Shiloh Selassie...Farm Worker's Son
Flor de Maria Chahua...Young Shaun San Dena
Good Points about the Film:
I have to admit I'm not generally a fan of this kind of thing, but I thought it was great, it's not going to give you sleepless nights, but it is memorable, it's silly too, and funny and the scariness never quite crosses any lines, which is great for a wuss like me.
I liked the fact that the film almost seemed ironic in many ways, despite the fact the main character has told her boyfriend she is cursed and being stalked by a demonic existential gypsy, he still drops her at the door of her house rather than going into bat for her, also there are some excellent twists on standard scenes, the creature haunting Christine is hilarious and I won't spoil it, but its appearance was one of the highlights of the film for me. Also the use of a cute kitten in a scene is excellent, I know a lot of readers love their cats so would advise they perhaps forward past the 'bit with the cat' as it ain't pretty and definitely isn't something people should try at home.
Alison Lohan is excellent as Christine, sassy in all the right places and able to scream her lungs out on cue, she has the right mix of vulnerability and gusto to be the heroine, her behaviour becomes more erratic as the film progresses and she appreciates she needs to be as dastardly as her nemesis to survive.
Justin Long is Justin Long, funny and watchable, he has screen presence and clearly enjoys his role as the pedestrian boyfriend Clay, who adds little and does little during the course of the film, other highlights include the old lady who appears at various points head a twisting or tongue trying to swallow Christine, this is always the right side of ridiculous and you never get too frightened by it.
The direction is smart, fast paced and colourful with obvious nods to the genre, from boyfriend names to the slight twist on standard scary moments, Raimi clearly had fun making this and I enjoyed watching it. The start of the film gives you an idea of all you really need to know of the curse and everything that follows leads to a very memorable conclusion which I felt was a perfect end to the film.
I liked the references to previous Raimi films (The Evil Dead 1 & 2) through mention of cabins in woods and appearances from Raimi and co-horts, this is the kind of thing the film geek in me really appreciates and it just adds to the sense that this is a film that means a lot to the director.
Bad Points about the film:
The only thing I would really say that I didn't enjoy was the slight repetition of scenes, you see the old lady bother her in a car park, then in a dream, then in a funeral, it makes sense and fits the plot but got a tad dull after a while.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film from beginning to end, its easy, has a decent ending and the characters are all the right side of ridiculous, some of the lines are cheesy and poor old Christine takes a bit of a hiding from the demonic old lady and the silly creature sent to take her to hell, but hey, the moral of this story, is don't turn down mortgage extension requests from mad eyed ladies with no discernible methods of payment.
I rented this from Lovefilm and will buy it from Amazon in the near future, it was such fun, it is available on Amazon for £4.45.
The end is splendid and the more I think about it, the more I think this is one of the better endings I've seen to a film in a very long time.
When Christine goes to the old ladies house to beg forgiveness and ends up embarrassing herself at a family event.
We watched this last night. I was keen to watch it as I had read a good review about it so thought it would be a film that both me and the other half could enjoy. We did watch it on DVD but this is a film only review as I never bother with the extras.
We are introduced to Christine Brown who works in a bank. She is working very hard towards a promotion and is desperate to reach her goal but currently the race is between her and another of her colleagues. She recognises that the next few days are vital and therefore she must put her all into her job and work hard for the bank.
She is sat at her desk when a frail old lady comes in who slightly resembles a witch! She has brown fingernails and a glass eye. The woman explains that Christine must help her as she has received final notices from the bank claiming they are going to reclaim her house as she has not been able to meet her last few payments. Christine notes that she has already received two extensions from the bank so therefore goes to ask her boss for advice. Her boss tells her that it is her decision and Christine recognises that although she does feel sorry for the old lady, if she wants this promotion she must work within the banks best interests. Therefore, she tells the old lady that she is extremely sorry but she cannot offer another extension.
The old lady blames Christine for this and hell breaks loose with the old lady trying to hit Christine and shouting at her. Christine calls security but she is understandably shaken up for the remainder of the day, is that the last she will see of the old lady?
I had high expectations of this film and whilst I thought the idea of the plot was very good, some things I felt were not so strong. For example, I was expecting a horror/thriller but it wasn't particularly scary, don't get me wrong in quite a few places I did jump but I was just expecting more mystery and speculation. The main aspects of scariness throughout the film were often in the form of eyes, bugs and blood which were not scary, more gross to look at!
However, as I said I did enjoy the plot of the film as it was a good idea and I was keen to see what would happen to Christine. Christine was portrayed as a very vulnerable and loveable character (young, pretty, blonde...) which made both me and my partner back her from the beginning and we both really wanted the best for her.
The acting was very good, there were high quality actors in the film but not so much so that I kept relating them to other roles they had starred in, instead I saw them as entirely new people. The special effects were very good in the film and I imagine if this had been released a little later in 3D then it would have been rather uncomfortable to watch in places.
One thing that did surprise me was the ending. It was not what I expected at all which I thought was very good as it added an element of surprise to the film which you do not often get.
The film was released in 2009.
It starred Alison Lohman, Justin Long and Lorna Raver.
It is rated a 15 in the UK which I think is the right rating.
It ran for 99 minutes.
I did enjoy this film, but not as much as I thought I would. I think this is mainly because it was not what I was expecting and therefore I was hoping for it to be something that it was not! The idea of the plot was very good and it did flow well but in places I was willing the film to hurry up and come to a close. One thing that I was very impressed with was the ending as it was a complete shock to both me and my partner and neither of us were expecting it. I would recommend this film but only to rent or watch on TV as it only gets 3 stars from me.
I have a huge interest in horror films so when this one came out it was inevitable I was going to love it. The legendary director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead Trilogy, spiderman trilogy) is back with this great little horror movie.
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman - Gamer and Matchstick men) works at a loan office. After refusing to give an extension on a loan to an old woman, the old woman places a curse upon her. With the help of her boyfriend (Justin Long - Jeepers Creepers) she has three days of torture before her soul will finally be dragged to hell by a demon known as the 'Lamia' but will she succeed in finding a way to outsmart the demon that is after her?
What to Expect
It is a fairly low budget film which means that the effects aren't great, but it adds to the charm of the film in my opinion. The DVD is part of the Fright Club series which I am a fan of, so if you are to then i expect that you will love this film. It does have its scary moments, and many moments that make you jump. Overall, it is a decent horror film for a change and well worth the watch. Also you can expect some light hearted moments that will make you giggle, which keeps you entertained throughout. The effects are sometimes laughable but to be honest thats what i expected, and it didn't ruin the film in anyway... In fact it just made it better!
On the DVD version you will find the 'production diaries'. These contain footage of the how the special effects were created on a budget and also a tour of the set. Additionally, there is a profile on Justin Long.
Is it for You
If you are a horror fan then definitely give this a go, it is well worth the watch. It is pretty scary so if you get scared easy then give this one a miss. Furthermore, it contains quite a bit of violence. It is a certificate 15 and run time is approximately 95 minutes. If you think you can stomach it watch the movie, you will not be disappointed!
I also have this review on ciao.co.uk
Drag Me To Hell is the latest scare offering from veteran Director, Sam Raimi who infamously brought us Evil Dead parts one and two waaay back during the eighties in the era of the Video Nasty! So you would expect this then to be something pretty awesome, right? Wrong!
What we get is a fairly lacklustre affair and a plot that many of us will have seen a thousand times before in many different forms! Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a rather sappy boyfriend who comes from a good family. Christine is up for promotion at her bank, down to the last two candidates and needs to impress so when aging Mrs.Ganush comes in with a default notice on her house due to non-payment of fees, Christine gives her the bums rush rather than trying to help her. Disgusted with how she has been treated, Mrs.Ganush lays down an ancient Gypsy curse and so begins what is supposed to be the terror.....
With three days to settle the curse before she is dragged down into the darkest pits of Hell, Christine finds herself in a race against time to find some kind of solution to her impending doom. And so begins a battle against forces she barely understands......but is it too late to try and cheat her fate?
The cover boasts a movie critic's quote that this is "The Scariest movie of The Decade" but in fact, this is only true if this is the only film you have seen in the last ten years! Scenes that are supposed to be scary are instead laughable and there is too much of the slapstick humour from Evil Dead 2 here for anyone to really take the film seriously! There are plenty of in-jokes present for die-hard Raimi fans (the car Mrs.Ganush drives is Bruce Campbell's from Evil Dead for example) but overall, the end result here is pretty poor!
Don't get me wrong, part of me really enjoyed this but only on a very shallow level and it was not something I would ever choose to watch again! There are a couple of moments that stuck in my mind and made me chuckle later but, watching this, I was never comfortable with whether or not I SHOULD have been laughing!
In short, I think Raimi has spent too much time making Superhero movies and forgotten how to be scary!! This is an okay film but don't go in expecting anything very amazing because there are films out there much, much scarier than this!!
Drag Me To The Pub
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) works in the loans department of a bank and wants to be promoted, but there is a guy who seems to be Mr popular also gunning for the post. When Mrs. Ganush, an old gypsy looking woman, comes in desperate for a loan, she gets the task from her boss to deny the woman, who takes it bad and curses her.
Strange things start to happen as it seems there may be a real curse and the woman isn't finished with her yet...
Sam Rami making a horror movie, what could possibly go wrong. Well, maybe I'm missing the point and I think I am, but it's not exactly horror but more comedy. This really is a tongue in cheek movie. I get the feeling that he has a lot of fun making it, and he probably wanted to get away from the big budget pressure of the Spiderman films.
Alison Lohman plays the woman who is cursed (for being in this film?), her acting is not bad considering the role, although I think her looks might have helped her get it. This may have put her career back a bit. She kind of looks like Mary Jane from Spiderman a bit here. The other characters are pretty much there to make up the numbers, with perhaps the exception of
Dileep Rao as a fortune teller, another tick in the horror move cliché box, he comes across quite cool.
The real star of the show, and the best thing about this film is Lorna Raver as the gypsy woman, looking at her filmography she hasn't really been in much which I find quite surprising, mostly the odd performance in American TV shows. What a shame her talents have been wasted here.
The special effects are actually very good, he probably got his Spiderman guys in for them. There is quite a lot of CGI in it, and it is pretty obvious when it's being used. Soundtrack wise, it's pretty Clichéd standard horror movie fare.
If you find this on late one night then I'd give it a watch, don't worry if you're on your own as despite what some reviews I've read this is not a hiding behind the sofa film more of a laugh out loud one, keep an eye out for the Anvil scene for the best laugh of the entire film. Fortunately the film is not too long at 99 mins, the length films used to be so doesn't get too boring. The ending is about as predictable as they come, we had it figured quite early on. If you don't figure it out it could help redeem the film for you, but probably not. Rami should go back to Spiderman or films like that now. The only thing missing from this film is Lelie Nielsen.
Main Cast List
Alison Lohman ... Christine Brown
Justin Long ... Clay Dalton
Lorna Raver ... Sylvia Ganush
Dileep Rao ... Rham Jas
David Paymer ... Mr. Jacks
Directed By : Sam Rami
Running Time : 99 Mins.
Certificate : 15
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a good job. She is a loan officer who has steadily impressed her boss. She is inches away from a big promotion but is suddenly faced with a difficult task. She has to evict an old woman Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) out of her home. She wants to give the poor old lady an extension but her boss is watching closely to see if Christine can handle a tough situation such as this one. Is she up for the position of assistant manager? In a moment of absolute determination, she turns Mrs. Ganush down flat. Was she being greedy? Putting her career in front of an elderly woman's needs? It would appear a promotion is on its way. But unluckily for Christine, Mrs. Ganush is involved in some dark, gypsy magic. Furious and utterly humiliated at her situation, she curses Christine. This doesn't seem like a big deal to Christine at first, but more and more disturbing events start happening to and around her. She learns that she must put a stop to this curse fast, otherwise she will literally be dragged to hell (hence the title).
Sam Raimi returns to what he does best - mixing horror with gross comedy, making gore somehow look absolutely, unbelievably disgusting but hilarious at the same time. This is why we all love the "Evil Dead" films isn't it? "Drag me to Hell" is exactly that: a film capable of giving us properly terrifying scenes, as well as some hysterical moments whilst never undermining the general horror element. He does this with so much style and subtlety that he can turn a handkerchief into an object of complete terror that can cause so much inner-panic.
Is there gore? Definitely, there's a lot of it. The violence is repulsive yes, but never unnecessary. After all, the classification of this film is 15. There is plenty of blood, eyeballs and hands that will keep the horror fans satisfied but Raimi takes it one step further and adds vomit, excess saliva, a goat, larvae and many other horrific elements to make something truly unique. Sometimes the gore is so cartoon-like and over-the-top that it's hard not to laugh and be disgusted at the same time. It's an odd sensation, but the film is full of it.
Christine ends up suffering so much both physically and mentally: and when invisible demons start terrorising her as well, throwing her about, slamming her against walls and ceilings, our protagonist declares war in the spirit of enough is enough. She seeks to reverse the curse and with her trusty boyfriend Clay's (Justin Long) help, ends up in the house of Shaun San Dena (Adriana Barraza), a medium. The exorcism that ensues is perhaps a little less impressive than the build-up but is nonetheless an exciting supernatural adventure full of energy. Will this work? Will Christine go to hell or won't she? It's the question that lasts throughout the film and the answer is surprisingly satisfying. An ending that makes sense with a twist gives the film the finale it deserves.
Lorna Raver, despite appearing for a relatively short period of time, ends up being one of the most memorable characters in the film. A complete scene-stealer as Mrs. Ganush, her ghastly, disturbing appearance alone is a stand-out and the priceless scene in which Mrs. Ganush torments and harasses Christine to extreme measures is simply extraordinary, and in that short 5-minute sequence, Raimi manages to stuff it with an endless amount of sheer brutality with black comedy. The sight of Mrs. Ganush persistently chasing after Christine whilst screaming her head off, despite having several staples stuck in her eye and forehead, is undeniably gruesome, but still amusing in a twisted somewhat violated kind of way.
Lohman is pretty and vulnerable enough to be the convincing female protagonist in a horror film. When her character is supposed to suffer, Lohman is only supposed to scream and look very, very worried which she does incredibly well. The impressive side of Lohman however is revealed later on in the film when Christine realises she has got to be strong and literally kick some spirit's ass. There is still vulnerability there, but with added strength and willpower, she doesn't turn herself into a warrior woman, but a desperate young woman doing everything she can to live and avoid hell at all costs.
The main flaw of "Drag me to Hell" is the script. Not the overall concept or the arrangement of sequence of events, but the actual dialogue themselves. There can quite often be ludicrous lines but this was never meant to be taken too seriously by anyone. No one would go in to see this film expecting some rich, deep dialogue that has profound meaning. Instead you should go in expecting a full-out, non-stop, hectic, dizzy ride that perfectly blends two conflicting emotions of stomach-grumbling disgust and laugh-aloud hilarity to one satisfying result: a fabulously entertaining, well-balanced horror flick. Just one small request: please let there be no sequels.
Drag Me to Hell
Running: 99 minutes
Director: Sam Raimi
Country: United States
Alison Lohman as Christine Brown
Justin Long as Professor Clayton Dalton
Lorna Raver as Mrs. Sylvia Ganush
Dileep Rao as Rham Jas
David Paymer as Mr. Jim Jacks
The story is about Christine Brown who works in the bank in Los Angeles. She's hoping to get a promotion as the assistant manager, but for this promotion there's also another colleague who wants that job. Christine has to get tougher according to her boss if she wants to get the job, and have to be able to make hard decisions. She wants to prove to her boss that she can and gets her opportunity when a old woman comes in the bank to ask for a third extension on her mortgage. She begs Christine, because otherwise she will be living on the streets. Christine has a lot of doubts turning her down or not, but when she sees her boss is watching, she makes the decision and has to let the woman down. But what she didn't expect is that the old woman goes metal and has to be escorted out the building. At the end of the day Christine walks to the parking garage for her car where suddenly she's being attacked by the old woman! The woman gets a button of her jacket and curses her! Christine is in total shock even she doesn't believe in curses, but has a bad feeling. When she drives past a fortune-teller and decides to go in, but unfortunately she doesn't get the news she wanted to hear and her worse nightmare will get true.
The acting skills are fine in this movie. The character Christine Brown has a boyfriend in the movie, but isn't living together. She is being played by Alison Loham, who I don't really know as an actrice, but she does a pretty good job in the movie. She convincing in her scenes and looks that she really have a difficult task to let the old woman down and looks later on the movie that she's really scared. The old woman in the movie is called Sylvia Ganush and is being played by Lorna Raver and thought she was really good. When she attacks Christine she looks very scary, but i also had to laugh a little bit by the way they did it. I don't know if it was mend to be funny, but it was. The acting skills of the other actors are fine in this movie and enjoyable to watch.
Unfortunately their where no extras on the DVD.
I actually really enjoyed this movie! I expected a really cheap looking horror movie, but I couldn't have been further from the truth. The story is well put together and the way they filmed it looks very good and nothing with cheaply special effects. From the beginning of the movie you are drawn to the character Christine and her life. When the old woman enters the movie your hair will stand up. She looks really scary. From the moment she cursed Christine then the excitement starts with scary scenes who look really impressing with the special effects. I really enjoyed the one hour and the half and unfortunately there are no extras on the DVD, which makes it feel cheap, but the movie is certainly worth buying!
Drag me to Hell received a lot of media attention and hype, being advertised as 'The Scariest Film of the Year' as well as many other positive titles and ratings. But is it really a notch above all the other horrors out there?
The film follows Christine Brown, a bank worker who is chasing a promotion. To get this promotion her manager wants her to be more ruthless with her decisions. Unfortunately for her, the next person to need a loan isn't the person you want to be ruthless with! An old woman in a poor financial situation wants further loans, Christine eventually denies her application. That night she is attacked by the old woman in the car park. After a fight scene the woman takes one of her buttons, curses it and gives it back to her. From then on things just keep getting worse for Christine!
So, was it really the scariest film of the year? There are more jumpy parts than you can shake a stick at, infact if you're of a nervous disposition or have heart troubles I wouldn't recommend this for you! I also prefer this kind of 'villain' if you like, because in films such as Halloween and Friday the 13th you can't help but get annoyed that no one just shoots the guy! After all he is just a guy, usually with a knife or something. However in this case she is being chased by a demon, and you can't shoot demons! To me this makes these types of films a notch scarier than your usual super-human, masked murderers.
However, for me, the film is spoiled by some scenes were you don't know whether to laugh or be scared. The fight scene at the start is a key example. For one, shes fighting an old lady, thats pretty amusing in itself (although the old lady does falls into the 'super-human murderer' catagory...if you don't believe me try hitting your gran on the head with a metal object, and see if she can continue strangling you afterwards!), and some really stupid things happen. Like I said I don't know whether things such as the old ladies false teeth flying out were made to be funny or serious. And since this is the starting 'scary' scene, it kind of sets the mood for the rest of the film. Whenever something thats half-half scary or amusing, you can't help but find it amusing since the tone has been set from the start.
In summary, this film has some good jumpy bits, but is spoiled by not knowing whether to laugh or be scared. I can think of far scarier movies!
Drag Me To Hell... This film was unfortunately released onto our screens in June 2009. And I made the huge mistake of purchasing the DVD.
Maybe they should have thought about this more thoroughly and not released it at all.
There is nothing to distinguish this film from hundreds of others with similar story lines apart from the laughable ideas that went into the action scenes.
This was billed as "the scariest movie of the decade".
What a waste of time and money.
About as predictable as a badly written cartoon. I would not advise anybody to waste their money on purchasing this film.
Throughout the film I actually laughed at how bad the acting and special effects were.
The ending of the film was rediculous. I have never watched a film that lacked any positive aspects what so ever but after dragging myself to the end of this film and I can now say that I have.
I was drawn to the excellent title and scary front cover of this film and although I didn't read any hype you would expect the movie to me scary. It did not disappoint and I loved it and found it to be disturbingly spooky with loads of cringe moments. I love watching horror movies but these days they always tend to disappoint. There are only certain movies that tap into my fear and that's anything supernatural or connected to the devil. This falls into this category and as far as I'm concerned was up there with Amityville and the Exorcist.
The plot is like something out of a Stephen King novel. The plot revolves around loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), who tries to impress her boss by refusing to extend a loan to a gypsy woman by the name of Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver). In retaliation, Ganush places a curse on Christine which, after three days of ever escalating torment, will plunge her into the depths of Hell to burn for eternity.
This film had every thing that makes a good horror movie. It had the cringe moments of Final Destination. It had the spooky supernatural stuff of Poltergeist. An finally it had all the scary devil stuff of exorcist. It kept me on the edge of my seat and had me covering my eyes and jumping all over the place. Definitely the best horror movie I've seen in a good while.
Directed by Sam Raimi
Produced by Grant Curtis
Robert G. Tapert
Cristen Carr Strubbe
Written by Sam Raimi
Starring Alison Lohman
From director Sam Raimi (the evil dead and spiderman trilogies) is for me a hell of an endorsement, his films have been in my life a long time now so I had been anticipating drag me to hell for a while before i finally got to watch it. Did it disappoint? Well a bit of both to be honest. It's not rubbish anything like that's rather it's one of the best films of 2009 its well just not evil dead 2.
The plot is basic horror stuff a girl is cursed by an old gypsy and has a few days to lift the curse. Simple. Its not plot we're after with a horror (to a degree) its scares. And there are plenty throughout, Raimi mastering the use of sound and suspense to make you leap out of your seat. It's also very funny at times which cuts through the jumps nicely, and in Alison Lohman a lovely and game lead who holds the film well, you actually do feel for her.
The film doesnt over stay its welcome and is action packed, but it lacks substance overall and perhaps its just my nostalgic side talking a notch below evil dead 2, but perhaps the next generation will look back on this movie with the same kind of fondness I have for evil dead, give it a go and only time will tell.
If you want to know more feel free to message me
I only gave this movie a rating of 'satisfactory' because I felt it was quite funny in places, whether or not intentionally and it certainly stirred me to be annoyed enough that I should watch it all the way through and then go on the internet to vent about it. Job done in that respect.
Ok, firstly, what type of movie is this? I seriously don't get it. That's all I can say. The main character (Alison Lohman) appears to be on the verge of one hilarious nervous breakdown which comes in bursts, whilst she maintains her outwardly pleasant exterior. Now, for someone supposedly tormented by a demon, continually walking around with a half smile on her face and looking as if she's about to crack up simply makes me wonder if this is not some comedy, part of an Evil Dead inside joke I just don't get. Either that, or the acting is bad. However, I feel it is something else, as if the acting is purposely bad. Either way, I can't pretend I know what they were trying to achieve.
I won't go much into the storyline of this movie, it is not deserving of it and there is really no point since the film makers don't seem to much care about the plot either. It is as if it was created with the intention of taking the piss out of itself, of taking the piss out of horror fans and of taking the piss out of the viewer for expecting anything of it. It's a pompous joke on us all. Of course, this is all just my opinion, but leaving me in such a rage after just wasting my time on this supposedly 'horror movie of the decade' has just irritated me enough to make me assume this movie is some kind of practical joke. Perhaps not.
Ok, so because some readers will be expecting me to divulge some of the plot, here it is. A blonde girl in a bank is cursed by a disgusting old gypsie lady who takes her button and breathes on it. There is some crazy fight where the chick jams a ruler into said old lady's gob (unrealistically) and there is nothing gory or scary about this, it is if anything comedic. Perhaps viewers such as myself would not have been so annoyed if we had not been lead to believe this was a scary movie. Anyway, this girl is now cursed and plagued by some pretty boring rattling of a gate in her house and this leads her to murder her cat on the recommendation of a medium she has associated herself with after a reading. Justin Long plays crazy girl's soon to be fiance, however, crazy girl is none to quickly dragged off to hell.
Some amuzing scenes, if I am honest, especially the grave scene at the end and maybe the last scene (Justin Long's face is a picture of fear, very well acted). It did make me laugh but more out of confusion, I was not sure if I was laughing at or with this movie. Anyway, sadly I only jumped once. Literally once. When a big face comes towards the screen. Perhaps without the cinema setting this may have been designed for something is lost in this experience and as another reviewer put it, it should be more of a roller-coaster ride at the cinema, with the volume at full blast and the effects on a big screen. Several times I had in fact wished I had been watching this in the cinema to gauge other people's reactions and maybe see if I was supposed to be laughing where I was laughing or cringing where I cringed...
I know some people have said this movie has some pretty gory scenes, I am assuming they mean the gypsy lady and her false teeth and love of puking or sucking chins... random but yeah I guess it was kinda funny, not scary really, I think I get what they were going for... but it wasn't what I was looking for. I expected a horror movie to be scary, it was not, perhaps it was original, perhaps it was just really bad and the good reviews are a case of the emporer's new clothes (people say it's good, so it must be good!). Either way, I felt a bit left out on the joke and rather wished I had seen or understood the Evil Dead before watching this movie, perhaps then I would have been set up for it. Otherwise, I have simply been left quite confused.
I heard about Drag Me To Hell some time ago and was very dubious about watching it after seeing some of the trailers.
This is a horror by Sam Raimi, who also did the Evil Dead series. Now although I loved the Evil Dead films and even own them on DVD. To me, they are a great classic from the 80's and it seemed from the trailer of Drag Me To Hell, that this was going to be done in exactly the same way, which would be dissappointing as Bruce Campbell (the lead actor from Evil Dead) was what made those films great, if you've seen them you'll definitley know what I mean.
To my surprise, even though Mr Campbell was nowhere to be seen, this film was actually really good, with fantastic make you jump scenes and some (make your stomach turn) scenes, that were the type more common in the 80's.
The film centres around a young woman, Christine Brown, that works for a bank, who usually would be sympathetic to all, but because of competition in the work place, ends up evicting a strange old woman from a house that has been in the womans family for years.
Little does she know though that the woman is some kind of gypsy witch, and so after pleading with Christine and getting nowhere, the gypsy attacks her (which is yuck to watch, trust me) a couple of times (one particular attack in a car that involves the gypsys teeth coming out and her suckling on Christines face - yuck!!-) and puts a curse on her.
Throughout the film, a supernatural force pursues Christine, leading her to find out certain things from a medium and attempt to do whatever it takes to remove the curse and get back to her life.
Roll on some gruesome scenes and a very humerous scene with a psychotic talking goat! yes you heard me right, a goat!
Alot of the visual effects that made Evil Dead great are used in this film, including chase scenes that make you feel like your the thing chasing and the quick movements of facial expressions and struggles, that are creepy and funny at the same time.
All in all, I didn't think this was the greatest film ever made, but it was definitely enjoyable and not a waste of an hour and a half of my time. I think that if you are a fan of the Evil Dead series you will for sure like this (what I would call) a typical Sam Raimi horror.
And if your not usually into this type of thing, or have never had the chance to catch Sam Raimis previous horrors, you should give this a go as it is still visually very well made, with alot of humour and a very well chosen quality cast of actors.
Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi
Genre: Horror - Thriller
Alison Lohman [Christine Brown]
Justin Long [Clay Dalton]
Lorna Raver [Sylvia Ganush]
Reggie Lee [Stu Rubin]
David Paymer [Mr. Jacks]
Christine Brown is a country girl trying to make a life for herself in the city, but she doesn't quite have what it takes when it comes to getting that much sought after promotion at the bank where she's been working as a loan officer. In order to get that promotion, she has to prove to her boss that she's got what it takes to make tough decisions. In the meantime, newbie employee Stu Rubin is attempting to win over the boss in any way he can.
Becoming increasingly frustrated by Stu's aggressive 'promotion-seeking' behaviour, Christine realises her 'good girl' attitude isn't going to get her what she wants in life, and when she overhears her boyfriend talking to his mother on the phone and it becomes clear that his mother doesn't want him dating a 'country bumpkin', she knows that the only way she's going to garner any respect is if she gets the promotion at the bank.
When Mrs. Sylvia Ganush approaches Christine asking for a third extension on her mortgage, Christine is somewhat repulsed by the woman's appearance, but she is sympathetic to the woman's cause. Mrs. Ganush has been ill, and she is desperate not to lose her home. When Christine tells her that an extension won't be possible and that she will lose her house, Mrs Ganush begs her to speak with the bank manager on her behalf. Christine obliges, but after she's explained the situation to her boss, he tells her that the decision is hers to make, but that sometimes tough decisions are needed. Seeing the expression on her boss's face, Christine realises that this is her last chance to prove herself to him.
Returning to her desk across from Mrs. Ganush, she tells the woman that the bank manager has refused to give her the extension she wanted, and that she must find somewhere else to stay because her house will be repossessed. Distraught, Mrs. Ganush tells Christine that she has nowhere to go, but Christine [cowardly] insists that the decision isn't her own, and that it's out of her hands. When the woman gets down on her knees in front of Christine and begs her to reconsider, Christine, who is overwhelmed by guilt and wants desperately to put an end to the situation, pushes the woman away from her and calls security to have her removed from the bank. Insulted and shamed by Christine's reaction, Mrs. Ganush lunges for her, but security officers interfere and she is taken away.
Mr. Jack, the manager, approaches Christine as the elderly woman is being escorted from the bank, and congratulates her on the way she handled the situation - he also tells her that if she can close the big loan deal she's been working on, he'll promote her to assistant bank manager.
That night, heading towards her car after work, Christine notices Mrs. Ganush's beat-up vehicle parked in the garage just a few yards from her own. Hurrying, she manages to get into her car and lock the doors, but unfortunately for her, Mrs. Ganush has beaten her to it.
A violent fight ensues between the two women, and just when Christine thinks she's won, Mrs. Ganush tears a button off of her coat sleeve, chants something in a strange language, and then pushes the button into Christine's hand, telling her that before three days are up, Christine will be the one who will be begging her...
Christine Brown - is a lovely young woman who is trying desperately to sort her life out. Having been bullied in her youth because of a weight problem, and having been neglected by her alcoholic mother after the death of her father, Christine left home in order to live a normal life. She's managed to get a good job as a loan officer, she has a steady boyfriend who loves her, and although his mother isn't too keen for him to be in a relationship with a 'country' girl, Christine is all the more determined to get the job promotion - at any cost - if only to prove to her boyfriend's mother that she is worthy. Christine is a nice, down-to-earth, country girl with a sweet disposition, but she is also determined to succeed at any cost.
Christine doesn't make the decision lightly to refuse Mrs. Ganush the extension; it is clearly obvious that she is under a lot of pressure at work to prove herself worthy of the assistant manager position, and with her boss breathing down her neck, and Stu trying to steal the job she so desperately wants, she feels that she doesn't have a choice but to refuse Mrs. Ganush.
Alison Lohman, not a great actress, has managed to hold her own in this movie and given a convincing performance.
Clay Dalton - a college professor, is somewhat of a 'wishy-washy' sort who doesn't seem to have much of a backbone where his mother is concerned. Clay doesn't possess much depth, coming across more often than not as a superfluous character, and although he attempts to comfort Christine after she is attacked by Mrs. Ganush, he doesn't quite manage to appear as though he genuinely cares for her - I chalk this down to poor acting on Justin Long's part, and the lack of chemistry between him and the main character serves only to reinforce the fact that this character is one too many.
Sylvia Ganush - is the most revolting and evil character I have come across in a long time. She is repulsive with her blind right eye, crooked yellow teeth with somewhat sharp edges, and when she scowls it's enough to set your knees to trembling - but that's nothing compared to her anger. Although appearing somewhat weak, she is anything but. Sylvia Ganush is a tough cookie, strong as an ox, and not once does the viewer glimpse even the tiniest speck of humanity within her. She is evil down to the core - as evil as the demon she calls upon to torment Christine.
What a talented actress Lorna Raver is - she gave the best performance of them all as the crazed gypsy.
Stu Rubin - is the conniving newbie at the bank where Christine works. He does everything he can to undermine Christine, and will go to any lengths in order to get what he wants.
Mr. Jacks - the bank manager, although he's supposed to come across as a heartless man, he isn't all that credible. Yes, he toys with Christine's emotions by dangling the proverbial carrot in front of her nose [the promotion], and he often alludes to the possibility that Stu would make a 'better' assistant manager, but his body language, facial expressions and the tone of his voice are not convincing. David Paymer, who plays the manager, was given a decent script, but failed to give a believable performance.
Christine has everything a young woman could want - a good job, a nice house, a loving boyfriend, and although she is not proud of her past, she has managed to put it behind her and make something of herself. Unfortunately for Christine, she isn't satisfied with what she has and gives in to peer pressure... which leads to her being cursed by an old gypsy, and tormented by a demon.
Pasadena, California - present day.
COMMENTS - OPINION:
I was expecting an awful lot from this movie, simply because it was directed and written by Sam Raimi [The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, etc], the same man who produced 'The Grudge', '30 Days of Night' and the 'Legend of the Seeker' television series - not to mention that he is also a talented writer and passable actor [Flintstones, The Stand, Indian Summer, etc]. I was expecting a lot, and although the movie itself was predictable, I wasn't disappointed.
Yes, 'Drag Me To Hell' is wholly predictable, and it relies on in-your-face camera shots to make the audience jump, but it's just so darned entertaining that it doesn't matter that we know Mrs. Ganush is going to jump out at poor Christine - it's the knowing, in this case, that creates the tension. You know it's coming, that repulsive 'witch' face with the 'lunatic' vacant eyes is going to burst onto the screen, but you're never quite prepared for it. I have to say, Mrs. Ganush is truly grotesque and nightmarish, and she managed to make me jump more than once.
Although the acting isn't great, Alison Lohman does manage to come across as the 'nice' girl gone wrong, and although she is way out of her league with Mrs. Ganush, she gives as good as she gets. The scenes containing these two women are definitely the most entertaining.
The storyline is pretty staid as stories go - nice country girl tying to make it big in the city, gives in to peer pressure, makes a wrong decision, and ends up paying dearly for it. Let's not forget the evil gypsy woman spewing curses left, right and centre [stereotypical] - gives gypsies everywhere a bad name, however, it also makes for an entertaining 99 minutes.
This isn't 'Saw', this isn't 'The Evil Dead' - this is 'Drag Me To Hell', and that's exactly what it's all about. There is more 'supernatural' to this movie than 'horror', and although it does rely on make-up and a few in-your-face moments with Mrs. Ganush to make you jump, the 'demon' scenes with the windows opening, handkerchiefs that come alive, and curtains that seem to move like arms... these 'demon' scenes are more than a little disturbing, and definitely make this an incredibly entertaining movie.
I really loved this movie, the 'feel' of it, the devilish ambiance thanks to Mrs. Ganush and the demon, but I'm only giving it a 4-star rating because the acting, in some cases, was a real let-down, and I felt that the movie could have done better without some of the characters.