Haunted Honeymoon

Film Review: Drag me to Hell (2009)

SYNOPSIS:

A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

REVIEW:

At long last a new Sam Raimi film in the horror genre since his Spiderman projects. Being a fan of his work for quite some time, I can honestly say I jumped at the chance to see his new release in theaters and came out with a smile on my face.

A film with a PG-13 rating is always a concern for horror fans, but to be honest some of the best films I’ve seen this year in horror sport a PG-13 rating…. so go figure. This latest horrific thrill ride from Sam has everything going for it and more. The FX work is great! The practical Fx work is great…heck even the intro titles by bad-ass title sequence masters “Picture Mill” is great…so in all this movie was a heck of alot of fun.

To get into the gist of the story Alison Lohman plays the role of loan office Christine Brown. Currently, she’s one of 2 candidates up for an assistant manager position. Her co-worker / corporate kiss ass Stu Rubin ( Reggie Lee) is also up for the position. As she goes about her stressful dailies, she is approached by the harrowingly evil looking Mrs. Ganush about the recent foreclosure of her home.

With 2 bank extensions already granted and a house in threat of being taken away Mrs. Ganush asks for Christine’s help. The request is course denied to appeal to her supervisor and Christine stand firm even after Mrs. Ganush begs for help. This embarrassing moment offends the pride and honor of Ganush in which she freaks out, causes a scene and attacks Christine.

Well as we all know in horror-ville anyone “that” ugly is up to no good. She awaits Christine in the parking lot and a all out punch, drag, staple and kick war ensues. Actually as violent as it is, I couldn’t help laughing the whole way through it. Something about stapling an old lady in the face …maybe…. I don’t know.

The fight ends which a curse placed upon Christine which sets the whole evil ball of wax in motion. That motion is the summoning of an old world demon called a Labia. This Labia is intent on taking Christine’s soul straight to hell in the course of 3 days. In the meantime we get to see a whole lot of ugly Ganash appearances and mayhem unfold. I got to to hand it to actor Alison Lohman who gets spit on, bled on, vomited on with worms and maggots and even puked on with a mouth full of Bile…. pretty hilariously evil stuff. Of course the absurdity of it is what makes it humorous though don’t think that its not without its palate of chills and scares. This film is chock full of “jumps” and loud noise surprises.

Now in the meantime Christine is trying to keep her relationship with boyfriend Clay Dalton (Justin Long) going strong even at the threat of his parents disapproval. The whole curse thing isn’t helping matters and so Christine seeks out the local psychic, seers and spiritualists to shake this demon monkey off her back. In classic confrontation style we of course build up to a stand off that works like a charm.

For now lets just say that we get to see alot of cool Fx driven scenes that are entirely entertaining. Those who are purists will recognize Sam Raimi’s great directing and camera shots that only Sam can do. In fact the whole graveyard scene is done so with so much style you’d think you were watching the frames from a graphic novel. KNB EFX Group provided the great visual dynamics along with members of Tippett Studio. The score was eerily appropriate using sort of an old world eerie violin based backing. If you stay long enough to see the end credits you’ll realize there were alot of hands in this one which made all the difference. I only hope that the film will draw enough success to keep Raimi on the horror band wagon. Come to think of it ….I looked ahead and see that Raimi is scheduled to direct “the Evil Dead – 2010 version”…so keep your fingers crossed

I’ve waited this one out for quite a while and can’t say I found any room for disappointment. It moves and brings you in from the first frame to the very last …which to me is a great horror experience…PG-13 or not.

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