About Features Reviews Community Screenings Videos Studios Home
June 2009

by Wilson Morales


Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Cinematographer: Peter Deming
Composer: Christopher Young
Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Adriana Barazza


Just when you thought director Sam Raimi had given up on the genre that garnered him legions of fans, he's back to give his followers and everyone else a treat with his latest horror, 'Drag Me to Hell.' The film brings back the thrills, the intensity and the goosebumps that horrors have been lacking for some time.

Longing to impress her banker boyfriend's (Justin Long) parents, who want their son to be with an upscale businesslike woman, Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is looking to be promoted from loan officer to manager at the bank where she works. Things seem to be going her way until a newcomer with less experience becomes an obstacle.

When an elderly woman comes in looking for an extension to a loan, Christine, feeling pressure from her boss (David Paymer) to be more assertive, denies the Gypsy lady her request, thus setting the stage for her fate.

Forcibly removed from the bank for making a scene, the old woman waits for Christine at night and issues a curse that will haunt her until it's lifted. After a visit to a fortune teller (Dileep Rao), who tells her that darkness awaits her, Christine goes through several measures to get rid of this albatross, including going against some her beliefs. Only faith and wit can prevent demons from taking her soul.

Before gaining international acclaim for his direction of the 'Spider-Man' film, Raimi's fame came from helming cult classics such as the 'Evil Dead' films and 'The Army of Darkness.' It's been 22 years since he left the genre, and he's back to put the fear in horror. With so many remakes and reboots, it's nice to see something original. Not that this film is the end all be all, but it does brings in some force, along with some comic relief that Raimi's injected his previous films.

Lohman is amusing in her role as the shy farm girl with no backbone. It takes fear to overcome her worries, and Lohman does her best to make her scenes count. For once, Long is playing it straight in a film, rather than playing jokester he normally does. The best things about this film are Lorna Raver playing the elderly Gypsy woman (her looks on camera are enough to scare the bejesus out of you) and the haunting score by Christopher Young.

With the movie's frightening special effects, one needs a strong stomach to sit through this highly entertaining film.