Saturday, June 13, 2009

Man on Film: Drag Me To Hell

Maybe having lucked into the VIP treatment at the Alamo Ritz when I saw this affected my judgment, but Drag Me To Hell was pretty goddamn fun.

While Sam Raimi has done mostly well by himself in the time that has passed since he trafficked in B-movie fare, Drag Me To Hell is a welcome return to form. Sure, he has done the Spider-Man movies and the truly outstanding A Simple Plan, but I think any Raimi fan has at the very least secretly been yearning for him to go back to his bread and butter--horror. As awesome as Spider-Man 2 was, though, I don't know anyone who wouldn't throw in one of the three Evil Dead movies four out of five times if given the choice between them.

In Drag Me To Hell, Raimi has essentially made a "Tales from the Crypt" episode.

Well, maybe I should qualify that statement. Say you were my age (somewhere in the vicinity of 30) and remembered seeing some fairly entertaining episodes of "Tales from the Crypt" back in the early '90's. Then you never saw another. Ever. So the memory of "Tales from the Crypt" being sort of all right is still in the back of your head. Then make something in that mold only have it be really good. And get rid of that horribly unfunny, pun-spewing Crypt Keeper.

Now, anyone who has seen an episode of the aforementioned TV series in this millenium knows that it totally sucks, but that is beside the point. Drag Me To Hell is a really awesome. There are all of the gross-out moments you could want. The timing is spot on. If you don't dislike Justin Long (I know, I don't really get how anyone can have any feelings about him that move past indifference on the negativity meter, but I know a guy who hates Justin Long--and Rian Johnson movies), then you probably don't have any casting issues with the film, as Alison Lohman is great. The humor, while not of Army of Darkness proportions, is there in full force.

Past all that, I don't want to get into plot points or anything of that sort. After all, this is a horror movie, and its effectiveness relies heavily on the element of surprise.

It worked for me on pretty much every level.

Then again, I was not watching it with the common people.

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