Drag Me To Hell
1 hour, 39 minutes
We've all been there. You wake up determined to have a good day. Then at work you're reminded that your boss lacks confidence in you, your douchey coworker thinks he's the better than you, and your boyfriend's mom poo-poos you and she hasn't even met you! All these little things rise to the top until some poor unsuspecting sap forces you to angrily assert your superiority. A moment like that can make you feel like a dick, especially if the bystander didn't deserve it, but it could always be worse.
Christine Brown's (Alison Lohman, Big Fish) day qualifies as worse. Her guilt over denying an old lady a loan extension diminishes when she is subsequently attacked by said customer, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver, TV: Star Trek Voyager). Besides vandalizing her car and giving her a fierce gumming, the gypsy woman bestows a horrid curse upon Christine. Over three days, a lamia will torment her until finally dragging her to Hell, unless she can find a way to stop it.
I knew Drag was going to be a winner when, within the first couple minutes, a cursed boy's mother gets bitch-slapped across the room by the unseen dark spirit. Only in the minds of Sam and Ivan Raimi (Army of Darkness) could such deviance dwell. For those unfamiliar with director Sam Raimi's earlier work, the zooming cameras, bizarre screaming voices, and demon-possessed, dancey floaty people are all reminiscent of the Evil Dead franchise.
Major kudos to Alison Lohman who sold every single gross moment of Drag with genuine fear and hysterics. She's subjected to an onslaught of wet, gooey, squishy things. She's tossed about her humble home like a rag doll. Throughout her mystical dilemma, her skeptical boyfriend Clay (Justin Long, Jeepers Creepers) remains supportive.
The small details in Drag speak volumes. Watching Mrs. Ganush sail on Christine's hard candy like it was filet mignon or glimpsing a simple eye brow arch by Christine's boss, That Guy David Paymer (Payback) let's us know exactly who they are and where they are coming from.
Long before Ellen Page, it was Lohman's cherubic mug that graced many a pedophile's wallpaper. It's amazing that at nearly thirty, she still has moments where she looks twelve. That innocent optimism blends well with the tough streak Christine develops through her demonic tribulations. She gives as good as she gets, even if it's against a defenseless kitty and a geriatric gypsy. The brutal fight from her driver's seat is in the running for 2009's most memorable moment.
The Money Shot
Drag Me to Hell is gross in the most extremely fun way possible. I could have easily written another page on all the goodness this potential franchise delivers. Hell, I didn't even mention the goat!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Drag Me To Hell