02 June 2009

Matt's Movie Review: Drag Me To Hell

Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell is everything that a horror movie should be. Strange, scary, gross, and most of all fun. The plot starts, appropriately enough for the times, with a young loan officer at a bank denying an old gypsy woman a third extension on her home loan in order to better place herself for a promotion. Now, given that I have watched a lot of horror movies, if I am ever in a position to help out a creepy old gypsy man or woman, I will go out of my way to do so. Needless to say, the gypsy woman, after an awesome and disgusting fight in a parking garage that is half WWF and half gross out wierdness, places a curse on our heroine. She then spends the rest of the film alternately being terrorized by a demon and attempting to break the curse before she is dragged to hell.

The film is tonally brilliant, evoking Raimi's earlier horror films, especially Evil Dead 2. It is absurd and extremely funny while also being genuinely unsettling. Special props to the old gypsy woman, as disgusting and scary a character as I can remember in any recent horror flick (special special props to her false teeth, which are almost a character in their own right). Raimi manages to make the audience cringe without once resorting to the over the top violence that has recently characterized two of the most successful horror subgenres. Drag Me To Hell is a welcome relief from the grim torture fests like the Saw and Hostel films and the mindless slasher flicks like the recent Halloween and Friday the 13th remakes, which are all about finding new and more graphic ways to kill the reprehensible characters that populate them. My only regret: no Bruce Cambell.

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