Friday, June 19, 2009

Drag Me To Hell (Rhoades)

“Drag Me to Hell” Is Helluva Trip

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Ever lost your temper and told someone to go to hell? Sure you have. But what if your words were actually a curse?

That’s what a loan officer (Alison Lohman) discovers when she tries to evict an old lady from her home. Next thing you know, she’s beset by some horrific happenstances. When she consults a psychic, she discovers that due to the old crone’s curse she’s literally on her way to hell. Uh-oh.

Warning: Bankers beware of your actions during this time of foreclosures, defaults, and financial unrest. This could happen to you if you mess with any of my mortgages!

“Drag Me to Hell” is the new fright fest that’s playing at the Tropic Cinema.

What sets this horror film apart from other supernatural potboilers is its director. Sam Raimi cut his cinematic teeth on scary movies: “The Evil Dead,” “The Evil Dead II,” “Army of Darkness,” even a nifty psychic thriller called “The Gift.”

However, in recent years he’s moved uptown as director of the three “Spider-Man” movies, those mega-buck blockbusters based on Marvel’s superhero character.

Odd that Raimi would return to his roots with another cheesy horror flick.

But truth is, that’s the genre he loves.

And when your three “Spider-Man” movies have raked in $2.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales, you can do any cockamamie project you choose.

“Freedom,” Raimi cites as the reason he took on this latest film. “On this picture I could have complete creative control and final cut, which I actually had for the first time since my first film, ‘The Evil Dead.’ I could just do what I believed in. I didn’t have to negotiate creatively with anyone. So it was refreshing in that way.”

Where did the idea come from? “My brother, Ivan, and I had written this short story in 1989,” explains Raimi. “Then just a few years ago, we adapted it into a screenplay. I have a horror movie company called Ghost House Pictures, so I thought, why not make it into a full-fledged screenplay for the new company?”

He adds, “We wrote it in mind with me to produce and for another director to come in and shoot it. Unfortunately that meant cutting the script so it could be made on a smaller budget. And as I started cutting, I realized that’s not why I was in it. I wasn’t there just to make a movie. I wanted to make this movie.”

Raimi’s next film project will be “Spider-Man 4.” But in the meantime, what does he hope moviegoers will take away from “Drag Me to Hell”?

He smiles malevolently. “What I want is for the audience to laugh, jump, scream, grab their girlfriend and feel they really had a great time at the end of that hour and a half. That’s how I’d measure the success of this film.”

Hey, mission accomplished.
[from Solares Hill]

No comments: