Drag Me to Hell

Drag Me to Hell

3.5 12
Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver

     
 

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Evil Dead director Sam Raimi takes the helm for this "spook-a-blast" shocker about an ambitious L.A. loan officer who incurs the wrath of a malevolent gypsy by refusing to grant her an extension on her home loan. Determined to impress her boss and get a much-needed promotion at work, Christine Brown (See more details below

Overview

Evil Dead director Sam Raimi takes the helm for this "spook-a-blast" shocker about an ambitious L.A. loan officer who incurs the wrath of a malevolent gypsy by refusing to grant her an extension on her home loan. Determined to impress her boss and get a much-needed promotion at work, Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) lays down the law when mysterious Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) 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 (Justin Long), casually brushing off her disturbing encounters as mere coincidence, Christine attempts to escape eternal damnation by seeking out the aid of seer Rham Jas (Dileep Rao ). 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.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Leave it to Sam Raimi to breathe some new life into the genre most closely associated with lame sequels and lifeless remakes. But while Drag Me to Hell certainly exists within the well-defined confines of the horror genre, the truth is that it feels more like a shock-a-minute roller-coaster ride than your typical fright flick. Raimi refers to his much-touted return to horror as a "spook-a-blast," which is certainly more appropriate than the traditional classification. Back in the day, Raimi's Evil Dead was touted as "The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror." Perhaps it's more accurate to label Drag Me to Hell a "terror" film rather than a "horror" film given its crowd-pleasing energy and relentless onslaught of expertly timed shocks. Raimi's unique knack for toying with an audience is stronger than ever now that he's sharpened his filmmaking skills in Hollywood, and after proving that he can play with the big boys he's finally returned to the genre that launched his career. Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious L.A. loan officer looking to land an assistant manager position by outperforming her ass-kissing colleague (Reggie Lee) and impressing her boss (David Paymer). Her boyfriend, Clay (Justin Long), has just landed a professor's position and everything is looking good for Christine until bedraggled gypsy Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) appears at her desk to beg for an extension on her home loan. Realizing that it will improve her chances of landing the position if she can save the bank some money, Christine politely yet firmly turns Mrs. Ganush away. Later that night, while getting into her car, Christine is violently attacked by a vengeful Mrs. Ganush and manages to momentarily gain the upper hand before the feisty gypsy strikes back with supernatural vengeance. Stealing a button from Christine's coat, Mrs. Ganush places the curse of the Lamia upon the frightened girl. Also known as the "Black Goat," the Lamia is a dreaded demon that takes delight in tormenting its victims for three days before erupting from the earth's crust and literally dragging its victims to hell. Now, it's Christine's turn to suffer the torments of the damned before being cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. As with many of the most effective genre films, Drag Me to Hell is devilishly simple, giving Raimi plenty of room to have some fun behind the camera as the dreaded Lamia torments our hapless heroine at some of the most inopportune times. This is Raimi cutting loose after spending the better part of a decade crafting the Spider-Man juggernaut, and his energy and enthusiasm are evident in every aspect of this film, from screenplay to final cut. Few of Raimi's collaborators are quite as attuned to the director's razor-sharp sensibilities than editor Bob Murawski. As he did in both Army of Darkness and the Spider-Man films, Murawski makes the absolute most out of every shock in Drag Me to Hell. Like Raimi, Murawski knows how to pace a scene for maximum impact, and when these two team up, the fireworks really fly. The Lamia attacks are wondrous feats of shadow, suggestion, and pacing; Mrs. Ganush's attack on Christine in an underground parking structure matches anything in the Evil Dead canon for sheer manic energy; and the climatic séance blends horror and humor so well that audiences won't know whether to laugh or scream. Achieving this unique balance is a rare feat in film, and would be virtually impossible without an assured cast that knows how to play each scene precisely right. In Loman, Raimi has found his perfect female foil -- pretty and fragile, yet able to take a beating and never give up (much like the Deadites in Raimi's Evil Dead films, the Lamia has a knack for pummeling its victims mercilessly before ultimately pulling them down to perdition). As the haggard Mrs. Ganush, Raver delivers a performance that recalls the cackling witch from Army of Darkness, and even supporting player Lee gets some solid laughs as the conniving contender for the assistant manager position, who isn't nearly as confident as outward appearances would suggest. And while Long doesn't have much to do as the boyfriend except appear skeptical, it's a testament to Sam and Ivan Raimi's screenwriting that the character never comes off as smarmy or condescending. Drag Me to Hell is a popcorn film that aims to entertain -- nothing more, nothing less -- and it achieves that goal admirably. Few films, horror or otherwise, can boast such a claim, making Raimi's self-described spook-a-blast an excellent example of a film where ambition and execution come together in perfect harmony. And to anyone who doubts that a PG-13 horror film can still retain the power to shock, just know that a mouthful of yellow mucus can make an audience cringe even better than a bucket of blood, and it won't even get you slapped with an R rating by the MPAA.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/02/2012
UPC:
0025192165467
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Universal Studios
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
38,812

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alison Lohman Christine Brown
Justin Long Clay Dalton
Lorna Raver Mrs. Ganush
David Paymer Mr. Jacks
Dileep Rao Rham Jas
Reggie Lee Stu Rubin
Adriana Barraza Actor,Shaun San Dena
Molly Cheek Trudy Dalton
Jessica Lucas Actor

Technical Credits
Sam Raimi Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
Grant Curtis Producer
Peter Deming Cinematographer
Joshua Donen Executive Producer
Joe Drake Executive Producer
Nathan Kahane Executive Producer
Bob Murawski Editor
Isis Mussenden Costumes/Costume Designer
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
John Papsidera Casting
Ivan Raimi Co-producer,Screenwriter
Steve Saklad Production Designer
Cristen Carr Strubbe Co-producer
Robert Tapert Producer
Christopher Young Score Composer

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Scene Index

Access the BD-Live center and watch exclusive content, the latest trailers and more; Production video diaries - discover the secrets behind Drag Me to Hell with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage featuring stars Justin Long and Alison Lohman

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