Drag Me to Hell

There's no truth in the title. Drag Me to Hell is horror-movie heaven. Director Sam Raimi, breaking the shackles of mainstream success with his Spider-Man trilogy, returns to the down-and-dirty cheapies that spawned him with The Evil Dead in 1983. The result, again co-written with his brother Ivan Raimi, plays like a gross-out competition put on by very talented frat boys. I couldn't be happier. The laughs are as explosive as the screams. The loudest shriek comes from the PG-13 rating being squeezed of its last link to good taste. There's less blood and fewer f-bombs, but the movie never stops spewing scares at you.

Alison Lohman was an 11th-hour replacement for Juno's Ellen Page as Christine, a bank officer who denies a mortgage to Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver), an old hag with yellow, rotting teeth. Wrong move. When Mrs. G. dies, the curse of the Lamia (great name) kicks in. Lohman is the ultimate good sport. Poor Christine is slimed and penetrated in every orifice. Even her sweet fiancé (nice work from Justin Long) can't help. No tattling, or the Lamia will get me. But watch for the "here, kitty kitty" moment. Only those expecting elegant storytelling will be disappointed. Raimi's job is to keep us revolted and riveted. Consider the job done.

From The Archives Issue 132: April 12, 1973
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