Title: Drag Me to Hell
Dir.: Sam Raimi
Producer(s): Robert Tapert, Grant Curtis
Writer(s): Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Company: Universal Pictures
Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer and Adriana Barraza.
Sam Raimi makes another appearance on the blog. But now, we’re not talking about Ash Williams, the Deadites, the Book of the Dead or the entire Evil Dead trilogy. Now, we’re into some newer territory with definite touches of the past.
Drag Me to Hell is basically Raimi’s return into the horror genre; he did direct the original Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007, starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco) so imagine the excitement of Raimi going back to his roots.
Now, I did not see this in theaters during its release, I saw it well after, years after (within the past 2-3 years) and I really enjoyed this movie. This is a fun, supernatural, horror movie that at times you root for the main character Christine (Lohman) and then there are moments when you are also rooting for her to get blood and vomit thrown in her face or suffering at the end, thinking she could outwit and out-win the supernatural forces at be.
One thing that I enjoyed about the film (besides the story, it’s a pretty tight, unique “revenge”-esque story) is the cinematography. This is the same person who created those really cool low angles in The Evil Dead so you can only imagine what newer things he could be involved with. There are some great moments of using shadows and playing with our eyes with something emerging from the darkness and the build up pays off. It isn’t a “let’s show a monster or a glimpse for shits” when it really has a part of pushing the plot.
Interesting angles. Lighting and using color. The CGI isn’t overly done but also there are some good ole fashioned practical effects (I mean, Lohman’s character is given the Ash treatment of just throw shit in their face). Drag Me to Hell has a lot riding on it.
My favorite moment is really the opening where we see this child literally getting dragged to hell but it’s how it’s shot that’s great. The moving camera angle around him as he is looking up at this glass ceiling and we see shadows hovering. There’s the part where the child lands on the floor and the shot of the floor pattern, the atmosphere of the building he is in which is very… “safe” but it sets it up as not safe. No one is safe in this movie. There are consequences. People are literally being dragged to hell.
But also the ending where Christine (Lohman) is dragged to hell and we also see Tommy (Long) watching in agony but it’s closeups of his face, those teary eyes and a hint of orange and red from seeing the flames casting over his face… over his eyes… it’s beautiful. And the footage goes from blurry to clear which, to me, symbolizes what WE see as the viewer versus what HE is seeing through his own eyes.
And Drag Me to Hell is NOT the last film in the horror genre that Raimi has attached himself to. July 12th, a disaster horror film Crawl (directed by Alexandre Aja), will be released and Raimi is one of the 3 producers on the film. He’s still working, being busy and I love directors who start off in horror don’t shy away from it when they’ve gotten bigger or think they are above that genre (unlike some actors, we won’t name names).
Horror is what mostly everyone starts off in, nothing wrong with that, don’t be ashamed of that.
The genre to me has always been about telling a story that if you look at when it was made, it can tell you about what has been happening socially and politically. The climate of what is happening in real time is captured in a horror film in some way.
Check out Drag Me to Hell. Check out a film of his called Darkman. Support horror with the new film Crawl.
Support horror as new releases are available!