Pros:Nearly perfect pacing, score, it's truly evil
Cons:Some of the CGI looks meh (Especially for a $30 million dollar film)
The Bottom Line: 9.5
Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie's plot.
Sam Raimi is a fantastic director. Admittedly, I've only seen about half of his films, but what I have seen is genuinely fantastic. The evil dead trilogy is mindblowing b-horror and the spiderman trilogy is for the most part great. Even some of his overlooked films, like the dark and strange A Simple Plan are great.
Drag Me To Hell is amazing popcorn entertainment. I saw this in a theater with just four people including my sister but it was still a ridiculously fun ride. It's almost hard to believe that a movie in an empty theater can be fun but that is the case with this one. It's a lot lesser on the small screen but the loud noises, jump scares and trademark random cuts of a Sam Raimi film are all here. I notice every film of his just about, whether horror or action must be a spectacle of zooms and flashes at random.
This movie has a great presentation for a horror film. The credits have the same care Spiderman 2 had given to them. This film was written by Sam Raimi and his brother. It's still senseless sarcastic, but there's a subtext about an eating disorder which is kind of fascinating. I have no idea where the idea of this film came from, but it's great.
There is something more treacly about the plot that leads more into a wonderfully stupid and twisted ending. Like Peter Jackson, the focus on some of the more tactile aspects of horror scenes is great. This movie is utterly heartless but that's what makes it so entertaining. The main character is a blonde banker who evidently has self esteem issues as she was very fat earlier in life. You would see this leaning into some morality play but since the characters are all emotionally vacuous and bankrupt it works. While trying to get the edge in her job she denies the job application of a sickly old gypsy with a glowing contact lens. She is the most entertaining character of the film. After giving a heartfelt speech of begging she is denied and then curses the girl with the curse of...the lamia. In the parking garage she is attacked in her car which makes up the best scene of the film. Seeing a banker smash an old lady in the face with a stapler in an action sequence is hilarious for countless reasons.
The rest of the film is full of grisly imagery of her trying to shake off the lamia, including its final revelation at a seance. She seeks the help of a fortune teller. This is a 30 million dollar horror film so the grandiose strangeness is helped by the fact that the effects are amazing. There are a few other highlights. A dinner scene where her cake seems to be posessed and the final seance where the lamia fully takes over. The bug-eyed demonic harpie demands her soul. It's hard to explain what even happens in this scene. It involves a goat, a flying man and flying chairs. Enough said. There is a cursed button which must be passed to another catalyst. She wants to pass it to her coworker who stole her presentation but instead just gives it to the dead harpy woman in a strange sequence involving a grave.
After what seems to be a happy ending at the train station in turns out the envelopes were misplaced and her boyfriend takes the button out in a wide angle lens shot that causes her to fall back onto the train tracks. The train rushes towards her because I guess trains slam through train stations at 100 MPH but just before she is hit hands come out of the ground and drag her to hell, though not before her CGI'd eyes bulge out in a semi convincing manner. Her boyfriend just kind of stands there the entire time. The title flashes because the movie is called Drag Me to Hell, and she gets dragged to hell, and I guess it's a middle finger to anyone who thought this was anything but a horror film.
This movie is extremely entertaining. The audio and pacing is excellent. Considering very little could happen in a horror film of this nature, the movie takes it to extremes. The subtext of an eating disorder is funny and strange. I've read online that nothing in the film actually happens, that it's just a metaphor for an eating disorder. While possible, I doubt it, it's just the strange overlay for the story arc itself. It's a very odd concept but the movie works very well because of how well shot it is. Some of the CGI looks a little too fake, but for the most part the visuals look great. The wrenching lack of morality is funny because the shift of tone goes from being horror to almost sentimental based on the acting and score. The entire film seems to be suggesting that the main character is gaining the self confidence she needs. It's playing like the opposite of a horror movie which is what makes the ending so condemning. The movie pulls the rug from under the viewer more than a few times and it's great for that. It's truly engaging and exciting. I'd say it was years of experience but Raimi posessed the same genius at the start of his carreer.
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