Thursday, June 11, 2009

DRAG ME TO HELL - More Yucky Than Scary

DRAG ME TO HELL (suspense thriller)
Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer and Adriana Barraza
Director: Sam Raimi
Time: 99 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

PREAMBLE: In Drag Me To Hell, Sam Raimi returns to his 'Evil Dead' roots - or the realm of the schlocky shocker. The catchword here is 'return' for if you expect to see some magical transformation after those Spidey movies, you will be disappointed.

As the title suggests, Drag Me To Hell is a plain and simple suspense thriller with a touch more of the yucky stuff than the gory or scary.

THE SKINNY: Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious loan officer with an LA bank who is vying for a promotion with another colleague. Her chances look great until an old gypsy (Lorna Raver as Mrs Ganush) arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Should Christine follow her instincts and give the old woman a break? Or should she deny the extension to impress her boss (David Paymer)?

Christine's choice makes the old woman to put a powerful curse her, transforming her life into a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by a skeptical boyfriend (Justin Long as Clay Dalton), she seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) to save her soul from eternal damnation. To help Christine return her life to normal, the psychic sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. Soon she must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse?

HITS & MISSES: One aspect of the plot that should interest the viewer is that involving the mortgage crisis that is the centre of our economic woes. We understand Mrs Ganush's problem as well as Christine's need to fight back.

However, this is one of the most yucky movies I have seen in a long time as Raimi revels in sequences of flies, phlegm and whatnot being transferred from one mouth to another. And then of course, there is the overloud 'noisetrack' and incessant bumping up of its volume to scare us. The exorcism scenes are rather lame compared to those of the previous outings. However, I like the twist at the ending. That's something you don't see coming.

THE LOWDOWN: Watchable but not on a full stomach.


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