Stomping Around in the Dark: ‘Drag Me to Hell’
Your enjoyment of Drag Me to Hell will largely play towards how much you like Sam Raimi movies, and whether you have any particular aversion to Justin Long.
The Raimi issue: Tonally, it’s not nearly as “adult” or invested in its mood as a Simple Plan or The Gift; nor is it as knowingly goofy as the Evil Dead and Darkman movies. But it’s far more sleek and confident than the rambling, bulky Spider-Man movies, and it also avoids the odd choice those movies made of casting bit actors who can’t act.
As for Justin Long: Well, I like him. And here he plays a remarkably supportive boyfriend, which is a nice change of pace from the usual “dick boyfriend” usually featured in horror movies (looking at you, Xander Berkeley in Candyman). So.
Anyway, assuming you can cope with these issues, Drag Me to Hell is fantastic, primarily because it should be called “Allison Lohman’s No Good, Very Bad Week, And On Top of It All, She’s Getting Dragged to Hell.”
It’s a comedic horror movie rooted in an utterly universal feeling of having Just The WORST WEEK, even without the gypsy curse. Nothing goes right for her. She’s losing a competition for a promotion at work. She’s got to meet her boyfriend’s parents. She’s on a crappy diet. Things just suck for the unassertive girl – and then suddenly she’s in a battle with a creepy old gypsy woman for her very soul.
Granted, with that in mind, you can’t play the movie as straight horror, but Raimi’s got a good handle on his slapstick tendencies this time around. For instance, the front-seat/back-seat fight between Lohman and the Creepy Gypsy Woman both pretty funny (a stapler to the face is comedy gold, never forget) and also tremendously brutal.
Good, fun Halloweeny rental.