Pros: Campy fun, ending
Cons: Pacing, won't appeal to all tastes
Drag Me to Hell is Sam Raimi's return to horror. It has received an odd mix of reviews ranging from very high to very low. Personally, I enjoyed the film. The pacing was a little slow, and some of it was absolutely ludicrous, it was campy nonetheless. It is slightly reminiscent of his classics like "The Evil Dead", where it is sort of a campy thrill ride filled with gory goodness; but it is far more flawed. Either way, I enjoyed this film for what it is, and got some good laughs out of it.
The story revolves around a girl named Christine, who works at her local bank giving out loans. It is a difficult job, and she is constantly having to make rash decisions. To get her promotion, she needs to be a bit tougher about who she gives a loan to, which drives her decision when rejecting an old woman, Mrs. Ganush, from a crucial house loan for her house payment. She begs and pleads to get this loan, for she will be put onto the street if she does not pay it. Christine still rejects her, and Mrs. Ganush leaves the building devastated.
Later on, when Christine is going out to the parking garage late at night, Mrs. Ganush is waiting for her. They get into a hilariously comical fight, just think about it: a young beautiful woman fighting an ugly old woman. Mrs. Ganush then puts a curse on Christine, and strange things start to happen to her. It is prophesized that she will be dragged to hell in three days. Can Christine change her fate? What will happen to Mrs. Ganush? All of these questions will be answered in Sam Raimi's return to horror.
The pacing of this film is horribly slow, which is probably the main drawback to the whole film. The plot is interesting enough, but the ridiculous/comical visuals, style, and overall vibe is what gives this film a lot redeeming value. There is one particular scene where Christine cuts a rope, thus dropping a cinder block onto Mrs. Ganush's head. Her eyes pop out of her head in a gooey mess. This is the humor that the film offers, take it or leave it.
As for the horror aspect, it is really not all that scary at all. It is slightly suspenseful, and there are quite a few jump-scares, but it simply doesn't make it scary. If you are easily frightened, then this film may get to you a little bit. But the campy feel sort of prevents it from being truly chilling.
The ending to this film was fairly controversial, some people loving it/some people hating it. I fell onto the "love it" side. It is shocking and unexpected, which added in some badly needed spark to this film. Some of the scenes are way too ridiculous, and some way too boring. It is very rare that this film finds the perfect balance.
Overall, Drag Me to Hell is not a bad film, it is just not a particularly good one. If you are looking for a film that will scare your pants off, look elsewhere. However, if you want a film filled with campiness and gore, this is your best bet. I give it a solid three-star rating, and don't recommend it. While I enjoyed it, I think that the audience that will think this film is dumb outweighs those who will enjoy it.