Friday Night Movies – Drag Me To Hell

With a title like that, what’s not to love?

Okay, so there’s plenty not to love – but there’s quite a bit of fun to be had here, too.  I’ve been on a little horror binge lately and though Drag Me To Hell isn’t as scary as Paranormal Activity, it’s a lot more fun.  I mean, it’s gruesome, gory and violent with more than a few scenes that could be considered nauseating, but in a good way.

This is pretty much a basic demon haunting.  Young woman denies mortgage extension, old gypsy puts bad ass curse on her.  You know – they kind of thing that happens to you and me every day.  Seriously, people, park your disbelief on the shelf for this one – if you can’t do that, don’t even bother.

But if you can shelve it – enjoy the ride!  Drag Me To Hell is the kind of movie that gleefully revels in its gory, gag-inducing excess with such enthusiasm that it’s infectious.  This is no hack production.  Helmed by Sam Raimi it makes the most of its big budget and is filled with giddily gruesome special effects.  Good CGI, Sam – there’s something especially creepy and fascinating about that fly that keeps turning up.

Raimi, with his long history as an actor, writer, director and producer, also clearly knows how to cast a lead.  Look what he did for Tobey Maguire in the Spiderman trilogy.  Alison Lohman is his choice here – a young lady who hasn’t been on my radar since 2002, when she was Michelle Pfeiffer’s put-upon daughter in White Oleander.  She was good than and she’s gotten better with age.  She looks completely wholesome, innocent and utterly charming, but her character has unexpected bite and ferocity that make the proceedings a hell of a lot more fun.  Too many horror heroines are shrinking violets and watching them struggle is like watching bunnies drown.  Not Alison.  She might be small, but she’s not going down without a fight.

Drag Me To Hell is scary, but it’s mostly a few jump scares.  It’s too ludicrous to be truly frightening.  Lorna Raver kicks ass as the evil gypsy and the massive heaps of dripping, ripping, crunching special effects make it over-the-top fun.  If you hate horror movies, stay away.  If you’re looking for a plot with anything really new, stay away.  If you’re looking for Justin Long not to be a wiener, stay away.  If you want be a little scared, grossed out and say “EWWWWWWWW!!!” a lot then enjoy!

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