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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Drag Me to Hell... I have been gypped




Drag Me to Hell: 4 out of 10: Great another movie that achieved universal critical acclaim that I did not enjoy. Oh make matters worse it is a horror film (which almost never achieves universal acclaim and a genre which I do love) and is by director Sam Raimi whose other work I genuinely enjoy.

Drag Me to Hell is all about gypsy curses. In the tradition of the superior Thinner and Buffy the Vampire Slayer our heroine Alison Lohman is a bank manager who turns down a third extension on an old gypsy’s house mortgage causing her to lose the home. Lohman is eyeing a promotion and her boss told her to be tough) The Gypsy in question attacks Lohman (in the films best scene) and then places a curse on her. She has three days to get rid of the curse or she will literally be dragged to hell.

In those three days, the demon in question will torment Lohman, so far so good. Then the movie falls of the rails. Lohman does something so horrific and unnecessary to get rid of the curse she becomes a black hat extraordinaire. Now a twist like that certainly can work if the film acknowledges it, but Raimi keeps his cards too close to the vest.

It quickly comes apparent that Lohman, despite acting as a younger, blonder, more innocent Kirsten Dunst, is the most evil thing in the film. The film simply does not really pull this switcheroo off or may not even realize it on some level.

The main fault lies with the lead performance of Alison Lohman who seems to skip through the movie with one confused expression, another confused expression and a decent scream. Raimi knows his buttons too well and fixates on violating the chaste Lohman's mouth with flies, maggots, blood, fists, entire arms, and in the most disgusting thing ever; an old ladies mouth without her dentures.

Lohman cannot pull off a fun evil so instead she is more the brain-dead banal evil. This is a role that requires a Linda Ferrentino style touch. I simply do not think Lohman had the chops for the role.

The films tone is strange as well. Many scenes are clearly tongue in cheek (a giant anvil held by a rope for instance) but others are so horrific (The aforementioned horrible act that shall not be named) that it takes one out of the story.

The rest of the cast is decent with Justin Long giving a particularly strong performance as the really nice guy with the evil girlfriend from hell. (Well going to hell... you know what I mean.) Long is best known as the Apple guy and the film keeps sticking him in front of Apple product placements handicapping his effectiveness.

There is also some strangely bad CGI in the mix. While Raimi really knows how to push the gross-out buttons and the jump scares, he would have been better off with some old school effects.

Overall I am beyond disappointed. Nevertheless, I guess once again I will be that guy who didn’t like the film everyone else loved. It is “Rushmore” all over again.


Drag Me To Hell Alison Lohman David Paymer Blood
Sorry but the CGI blood simply doesn't work for me.


Drag Me to Hell Kitty Doing Laundry
An innocent.


Drag Me to Hell Gypsy Eyeballs
Eye-popping effects.


Drag Me to Hell Gets my Goat
Why yes there is a CGI goat.


Drag Me To Hell Demon in Window
More CGI scares from the haunted house school mof fright.


Drag Me to Hell Alison Lohman Justin Long Office
Alison Lohman and Justin Long discuss those that purchase a $500 IPad to play Scrabble.





video
Alison Lohman digs a grave in a rainstorm in Drag Me to Hell.



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