Thursday, 21 January 2010

Drag Me To Hell: DVD Review

Drag Me To Hell: DVD Review

Drag Me To Hell
Released by Roadshow Home Entertainment
Rating: M

Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver
The words Sam Raimi and horror film are enough to make any cinephile quiver with excitement.
And so it is with Drag Me To Hell which arrives on DVD - and will make any night the perfect fright night fun.
Alison Lohman is Christine Brown, a loans officer, desperate for promotion.
One day, when told she has to show more leadership and make tough decisions, she chooses the wrong person to exert her authority on. That person is an old lady in the form of Mrs. Sylvia Ganush (played by Lorna Raver) - when denied a loan to stave off eviction and feeling humiliated, Mrs Ganush curses Christine. The curse means Christine will be Dragged to Hell by a Lamia demon within three days...
So Christine tries everything in her power to beat the curse and ensure she lives on.
Drag Me To Hell is a scintillating return to the genre from the master Sam Raimi - although it turns out the script was written some 10 years ago after the end of the Evil Dead trilogy, Raimi's clearly been spending his time working out how to perfect the spectacle - oh, and doing the 3 Spiderman films as well.
Granted, you pretty much know where some of the shocks and jolts are coming in this film - but it's the gross out horror humour moments which are the best for Drag Me To Hell. There's a few of those scattered around the film which are just, to be blunt, icky and make you squirm in your chair. But what Raimi manages to do, thanks to an at times deliberately deafening score is drag out some of the tension in the film and really confound some of your expectations as to when the shock's coming.
Drag Me To Hell is a restrained horror - it's not based purely on gore, but seeks to freak you out of your cinema chair when you least expect it - and have you laughing or groaning in disgust when you know you shouldn't. Lohman's Christine is a sweet character, so well played by the actress - you really feel for her as she starts to realise the level of threat she's up against - and Raimi pulls an excellent performance out of her by making the acting straight up and never veering into parody. There's scenes which will have you empathising with Christine and as the wall of sound builds in your living room, you may find yourself jumping when you least expect it.
On paper the elements of humour, gross out or otherwise, and horror shouldn't work. But with a master like Sam Raimi behind the camera, Drag Me To Hell succeeds in spades - it reinvigorates the smart horror genre which has become so bogged down by the likes of the SAW franchise.

Extras: Production Video Diaries- would have been great to have had more given how beloved Sam Raimi is.

Rating 8/10

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