Friday, June 5, 2009

"Drag Me to Hell" Review

Make no mistake, "Drag Me to Hell," is one of the most obscenely entertaining films released this decade. More a dark comedy in the horror mold than a horror film outright, some may be disappointed by the lack of traditional scares, but Raimi is more interested in putting the screw to the audience through hilariously inventive action sequences and insane gross-out gags than frightening them.

In the same vein as Raimi's own "Evil Dead II" and "Army of Darkness," the director does horror by way of "Looney Tunes," including a sequence here that literally involves a falling anvil. The action is so outrageous, so gross, engrossing, delirious and deliberate, that some of the first act exposition and intermittent dialogue scenes feel plodding by comparison. Thankfully, the plot isn't particularly complex, revolving around loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) and the curse she incurs after denying an elderly gypsy an extension on her payments.

"Drag me to Hell" is an absolute delight for anyone interested in a comedic take on the horror genre, and "Evil Dead" fans should be thoroughly at home. By exploiting and satirizing the established cliches, Raimi has crafted one of the most viscerally fun movies in recent memory. The film is optimized for the theater experience, and the boisterous reactions of the full house magnify every impalement, every expulsion of vomit, and every "Boo!" gotcha moment.

Despite its few screenplay snags, "Drag Me to Hell" is Sam Raimi at his absolute best.


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