"I beg and you shame me?"
Sam Raimi, the director of 'Drag me to Hell', is a master-mind in the whole suspense/light-thriller genre and with 'Drag me to Hell' he does not fail to submit to his viewers' eyes that he can be a great director as well as producer.
'Drag me to Hell' is about "Christine Brown, who is a loans officer at a bank but is worried about her lot in life. She's in competition with a competent colleague for an assistant manager position and isn't too sure about her status with a boyfriend. Worried that her boss will think less of her if she shows weakness, she refuses a time extension on a loan to an old woman, Mrs. Ganush, who now faces foreclosure and the loss of her house. In retaliation, the old woman place a curse on her which, she subsequently learns, will result in her being taken to hell in a few days time. With the help of a psychic, she tries to rid herself of the demon, but faces several hurdles in the attempt." (www.imdb.com)
The film that makes this film fascinating is the need to believe that gypsy curses actually work. In order to make such story believable into an audience that is prone to too much internet/knowledge exposure on the urban legends of gypsies and curses, Raimi created a villain so horrendous that can actually give you sleepless nights for quite some time; a granny.
Not a granny in the old sense. Lorna Raver, who for me is Raimi's golden ticket for this film, delivers a superb performance as the icky, slimy, budgering Hungarian elderly woman, who bears a legacy of cursing others when things don't quite turn out just the way she expects them to. In indeed if one is to believe in this 'myth' or legend the story can make a tremendous impact on the cinematic audience. The way the costume design transformed her from a lovely creature, into a maniac demon that will make Alison Lohman's role pay, is rather astonishing.
Lohman on the other hand, really seems to be challenging herself with this role, in trying to come out as the quiet and polite bank assistant who has not a great volition about her career and life in general and who in retrospect falls victim of her own nature. Lohan has that sweet-looking presence that a well-bred, self-contained, middle-class young lady would have that would all of a sudden would be the centre of an evil presence that would demand more than anything the one thing that's pure in her entourage; her soul!
Justing Long, seems to be parading about as the willful and supportive boyfriend who's trying to be the voice of logic in this overwhelming scenario, but without too much attention being paid to him, his screen time is relatively brief and tactful.
The chemistry between Lohman and Raver, takes on a more dangerous turn, as the story progresses with the battle of the two extremes, good and evil fighting to the very end.
The result is not quite what a well-made scenario would be expected out of such uncommon circumstances, and that's what makes the story so thrilling to watch. The unbelievable turn of events, the rush of feeling to see if the curse has a real impact or not, is quite a fascinating journey to take on.
'Drag me to Hell' might not be the film to make you leave your light on, but it does serve for a thrilling night in, giving you a few goosebumps here and there and ultimately leading you to an effective resolution.
Would recommend to watch it with friends. It is great fun, if nothing else, albeit it cheesy and common in its essence.
Hope you enjoy the flick!
Drag me to Hell (2009)