After almost twenty years not making horror movies, fans were excited to see Sam Raimi getting back in to the genre that introduced him to us originally. While we might have wanted another “Evil Dead” rather than a PG-13 horror film, with Raimi you never get just a PG-13 horror film, after all. After many years of working on the big budget spectacles of the “Spider-Man” movies, Raimi blasts in to the horror world once again to deliver what has been a very thoroughly analyzed and appreciated little gem. Leave it to Raimi to throw in a smaller film that packs a punch over time.
Alison Lohman is excellent as Christine, a loan manager who is faced with a gypsy woman named Mrs. Ganush. Despite Ganush’s pleas for a third mortgage on her house, Christine is pressured by her boss to turn her down, effectively rendering her homeless. Despite the woman’s begging and falling to her knees, Christine turns her away. She pays the price though when Ganush attacks her in the parking lot, cursing her. As Christine begins to feel the effects of the curse, she desperately looks for a way out to save her soul and keep her from damnation. “Drag Me to Hell” is about suffering consequences and enduring the punishment of an unforgiving being, but it’s also about bulimia. It’s very hard to explore what’s already been very well analyzed over the years, but “Drag Me to Hell” deep down is a horror movie about bulimia and the horrific environment it can create.
From its protagonist’s refusal to eat, her confrontation with a vomiting woman whose teeth are rotting to their roots, right down to hallucinating her food is bleeding, “Drag Me to Hell” opts so much less for scares and so much more for meaning. “Drag Me To Hell” is a very tightly packed and briskly paced horror film with only a ninety nine minute run time and a premise that gets right down to the nitty gritty. The cast is solid especially with Justin Long, and Lorna Raver as the film’s horrendous villain. There’s even a very nifty wink to “Evil Dead” mid-way that really will bring a grin to the viewer’s face. That said, the CGI is often overdone, and I was not a fan of the surprise ending as anyone with a slightest lick of attention will pick up on the old switcheroo pulled in the final scenes. Despite the predictable ending, though, “Drag Me to Hell” is a great horror tale that’s taken on new definition over the years.
Never one to skimp on the fans, Scream Factory delivers a two disc edition, offering up the PG-13 theatrical cut, and the much preferred Unrated Cut. Disc One features the thirty five minute production diaries with behind the scenes footage, and interviews with co-writer/director Sam Raimi, actors Allison Lohman, Justin Long, David Paymer, Dileep Rao, Lorna Raver, special effects master Greg Nicotero, and director of photography Peter Deming. There’s the new vintage interviews with Director Sam Raimi and Stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long clocking in at thirty three minutes.
There are new wide screen original TV Spots, and a brand new addition of the original theatrical trailer in 2.40: anamorphic widescreen. Disc Two features the twelve minute “To Hell and Back,” an interview with Alison Lohman who discusses how she got the role, how the role was originally written for Ellen Page, and her thoughts on Sam Raimi’s directing methods. “Curses!” is a sixteen minute interview with Lorna Raver who looks back on how she created Mrs. Ganush, and the film’s appeal. “Hitting all the Right Notes” is a great seventeen minute segment with composer Christopher Young who discusses his scoring of the film, and his partnership with Sam Raimi. Last, but not least, there’s a new Still Gallery with a slideshow of the film’s production.