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Drag Me to Hell Review: It is Very Awesome.

by Mindy Monez May 28, 2009 12:40 pm
<I>Drag Me to Hell</I> Review: It is Very Awesome. I feel I should start out this review with a little PSA: If you scare easily, do not allow your vindictive gorehound friends to sweet-talk you into going to this movie. It ain't frickin' Gothika. It's a horror film made for horror fans by somebody who knows what he's doing. It will scare the living shit out of you if you're not properly desensitized to this type of thing. And for the rest of us? It's still effectively scary! I jumped in my seat, I laughed a lot, I thought I might vomit a few times -- to sum it up, I had a fantastic time. This is the measure of a successful horror film, friends.

Of course, you'll have some hang-ups (why doesn't the gypsy curse the entire bank, all the way up to corporate as well? And there's a scene where the evil could easily be eliminated but someone like, slips, basically, and the entire opportunity is over, which was enraging. And why do gypsies get to be in charge of Hell anyway? These were just a couple I had), but the movie wastes no time getting started, and it sprints at such a break-neck pace until the end that you don't have the time or inclination to dwell on them. Another nice thing? Alison Lohman has an unrealistically perfect love interest (Justin Long), because it's a Hollywood movie so of course she does, but he actually serves a purpose and is a key part of the plot. I know, crazy, right? There isn't an inconsequential character or moment wasted in the entire thing (even Lohman's kitten serves a damn purpose), and the plot is unabashedly simple for all the right reasons and refreshingly non-convoluted.

The movie relies on the classic crap-jumping-out-at-you horror formula for the most part (with a few crap-jumping-out-at-you-to-then-gross-you-the-hell-out moments sprinkled throughout), and while that may not be the most high-brow or haunting road to take, it's done here with such passion and expertise that it was like the equivalent of going to the Louvre's haunted Halloween house or something. (Doesn't exist, don't bother Googling.) Drag Me to Hell isn't blazing any new cinematic or horror trails, but it does what it does better than anything else that's tried in recent memory. If you like horror and have been dying for an American film that doesn't wimp out on you or have some stupid-ass rip-off bastardization of a Korean or Japanese film's twist ending or any of the other disappointments we've come to expect from every week's horror releases, this is a spectacularly refreshing change of pace.

So yes, the fun horror king Sam Raimi is officially back, and after a seemingly endless stream of Spider-Man and For the Love of the Game-type diversions (with the exception of A Simple Plan, which is an excellent thriller), it just feels so good to have him. It's just too bad he's got to go make Spider-Man 4 now after such a triumphant return to form.

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