Welcome to real summer fun. Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell is the best horror film in years. It’s got more thrills and genuine laughs than any movie I’ve seen so far this year. In a genre so etched-out that we always know what’s coming, Drag Me to Hell is one hell of a fresh slice of shock cinema.
Let’s face it, PG-13 horror movies almost always suck (The Grudge, The Haunting of Molly Hartley), and the R-rated ones usually rely too heavily on blood and guts (Saw, Hostel) instead of a good story. But Drag Me to Hell’s rating is almost a blessing. Sure, it’s PG-13, but you wouldn’t know it. No, Raimi does a brilliant job of going back to his Evil Dead days, delivering his violence in a tasteful, albeit gross, manner. Instead of blood, we get bugs. Instead of torture, we get great lines of dialogue (“Here kitty, kitty.”)
Did I mention how the wonderfully timed thrills are matched perfectly with humor? A lot of horror films are unintentionally funny. A cheesy line of dialogue or a completely bullshit method of murder can ruin a film-going experience. Not here. Raimi wants you to laugh. He mocks the film’s outrageous themes and actually makes them funny. Great stuff.
Christine (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer in desperate want of a promotion. She’s told that she needs to be tougher on clients. So when little old Mrs. Ganush asks for a third extension on her home loan, Christine turns her down. Big mistake. Ganush is out of blood, putting a curse on Christine which, if not stopped, will ultimately, you guessed, drag her to hell. But not before some seriously creepy shit goes down. Even her trusty boyfriend (Justin Long, doing good work), can’t stop the madness.
Sure this film has its typical horror-film faults. But roll with it. This is a movie that would benefit greatly from a viewing in a dark, crowded theatre, with hundreds of screaming spectators. I imagine some of its allure will be lost in bright living rooms via DVD. Regardless, Drag Me to Hell is the most fun I’ve had at the movies so far this year. You’re in for one hell of a ride. A-