Drag Me to Hell
Director: Sam Raimi
Applauding Sam Raimi for returning to his schlock horror roots is a bit like cheering a Big Mac for tasting the same as it always does. Sure, it’s fun that Raimi took a break from counting his Spider-Man loot to bang out a quickie thriller strongly reminiscent of his Evil Dead beginnings.
But couldn’t Drag Me to Hell, which Raimi co-wrote with his bro Ivan, be just a little bit more imaginative? In many ways it’s Evil Dead 4, which may explain the critical huzzahs from Cannes to California, with a gender flip for minor variety.
This time, the dead-dodging protagonist is a woman (Alison Lohman), rather than the hapless hero played so memorably and hilariously by Raimi regular Bruce Campbell. Lohman’s character, Christine, is just too dumb to warrant the supernatural abuse she endures after running afoul of gypsy crone Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver). For acting like a bureaucrat rather than a saint, Christine’s punishment is to spend the next 90 minutes dodging the curse of the Lamia, a body-snatching entity from hell that holds big-time grudges and won’t take no for an answer.
The thrills are good, but Drag Me to Hell isn’t as funny as it should be. With the exception of Raimi’s depiction of the Lamia as a talking goat, the laughs just don’t come as freely as they used to. Extras include video production diaries and the unrated director’s cut.