Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Short-Cut # 12: "Drag Me To Hell" by David Pretty

Felicitations, Fear Fans!  

Director Sam Raimi cut his teeth making "splatterific" horror entertainment so I suppose it made sense for him to return to his roots after laying down the weighty mantle of the Spider-Man franchise.  So, is it a triumphant comeback by a conquering hero or just a watered-down, derivative re-hash of his previous shticks? 

Well, if the super-slick trailer is any indication, it looks like a partial success at least:

Drag Me to Hell - Trailer by dreadcentral

In a timely premise, Alison Lohman plays Christine, a bank loans officer who's encouraged to play hardball with clients while competing for a promotion.  After she acts contrary to her conscience and denies a creepy old woman an extension on her mortgage, it's revealed that the old hag is actually a powerful gypsy who curses Christine with a terrible fate.

Within days our plucky heroine is visited by a "Lamia", a goat-like demon who proceeds to torment her as a preamble to hauling her into the bowels of H-E-double-hockey-sticks.  Raimi trots out all of his time-honored tricks here: ambient noises echo through the soundtrack, the environments are manipulated to great effect, possessed people get all floaty and freaky, bodily fluids are abundant and there are more jump-scares than you can shake a crucifix at.

My capsule review is as follows: Drag Me To Hell is Evil Dead with training wheels.  In fact, some of these techniques were actually done better in Evil Dead and and its superior sequel-cum-remake Evil Dead 2.  And although Alison Lohman might be easy on the eyes, she's just not a great actor and the film suffers from a distinct lack of presence that a Bruce Campbell might provide.

Nevertheless, Drag Me To Hell is a fun, relatively ungory old-skool horror romp that serves it's purpose as a introductory roller-coaster ride of thrills and scares.  But unlike Raimi's earlier films, I'm not sure if this is a ride I'd ever be interested in going on again. 

Tilt: down.

No comments:

Post a Comment