(Mild Spoilers below folks)
Wow. After finally seeing Drag Me to Hell last week all I can say is Wow.
Wait, that’s not exactly true. As I recall as the movie advanced from about the forty minute point an insatiable desire to stand up and scream FUCK YEAH!!! clawed at my consciousness for the remainder of what has to be the best horror movie I have seen in a movie theatre since House of 1000 Corpses. Don’t believe any anti-hype that follows this one folks – if you are an Evil Dead fan there is, as far as I can see, no chance in h-e-double hockey sticks that you won’t like Drag Me To Hell. I mean, the fucking movie has everything, from absolute knee-slapping gore-out laugh riots (you know, when you’re so repulsed that you have to laugh your ass off to cope with, say, green funk pouring out of a cadaver’s mouth and into a young girl’s?) to, yes sir, a rather lengthy scene with a goat in a magick ritual. HOW CAN YOU ASK FOR MORE FROM A HORROR FLICK?
The answer, of course, is you cannot.
Seriously, I’ve always been a sucker for and miss so much Satan in cinema, and although there’s no Satan here there sure are goat-shaped spirits and plenty of witchcraft-hoodoo complete with possessions, sacrifice and, as I mentioned before, talking evil goats! And the cast is fantastic. I’m not really familiar with Alison Lohman but she is spectacular as lead Christine Brown, a big-city-by-way-of-the-country girl who’s ambitions at her bank cause her to cost creepy old gypsy Mrs. Ganush* her house and piss her off enough to stick one Nasty-ass curse on her. The escalation of said curse is the meat of the movie, and it evolves so beautifully on screen that even as the terrifying physical manifestations threaten to drive Christine mad they hammer away at us, the audience as well. The sounds are, like Evil Dead 2, extreme; well-crafted, painful and used as aural weapons in Raimi’s assault on our perceptions as we follow Christine down a filth-ridden descent into Hell on Earth. See this in the theatre and make it a theatre with a kick ass sound system. Too often these days I go to see a movie and the fucking theatre seems to have the sound turned low – I WANT THAT SHIT TO RIP MY FACE OFF!!! There is nothing nice about Drag Me To Hell and I don’t want some do-gooder theatre manager trying to compensate by easing off the Watts. There are moments here where, just as the characters on the screen seem ready to burst from sensory overload, so too did I entertain the thought, although briefly, ‘I don’t know how much more of this I can take!’ I wish every director paid as much attention to sound.
And I did say Sensory, i.e. ALL senses. My wife left the theatre feeling sticky and I don’t think it was from the cinema floor. Again, as with Evil Dead, there are a good number of slime and gore-soaked moments that threaten to just implode your eyeballs and make your skin crawl while you watch Gallagher-esque levels of green, brown and black liquids pour from Ms. Ganush all over our broken, battered and barf-ridden heroine as she struggles to reverse the curse. I myself had phantom-flies crawling on my skin for several hours after the story ended and the smell of Dileep Rao’s character’s occult shop hangs in my nostrils still. Then there’s the visuals – dark, spooky and totally Raimi. But ENOUGH! I’m just not going to be able to do it justice with words, so just go see it.
Also, always nice to see Justin Long. Now someone put him and Jeremy Sisto in a movie about jovial serial killers together pleeeeaaasse!
And as I think Devin pointed out recently, if you don’t go see Raimi’s warm-up for returning to the genre that spawned him then stop bitching about the long-awaited next Evil Dead movie, cause if the numbers are low on this one he’s gonna have a harder time making it the way he wants it!
* Lorna Raver YOU RULE!!!