No one does camp like Sam Raimi. Drag Me to Hell is his return to horror and he orchestrates it with relish. The movie is outrageously over the top—equally frightening, disgusting, shocking and hilarious. He works a been-there-done-that plot into an edge-of-your-seat thriller, an homage to horror movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Ambitious loan officer Christine (Alison Lohman) is vying for the assistant manager position at her bank. When a desperate Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver) requests a loan extension, boss-man Mr. Jacks(David Paymer) advises Christine to use her judgment. Not wanting to appear soft, she denies the request. Ganush begs but is escorted from the bank. She casts a vicious spell on Christine. Now, Christine has three days to right her wrong or she will be dragged to hell.
The plot isn’t unique but the special effects make you squirm and gag. There are maggots, flies and the spilling of gross mystery fluids. The disturbing sounds of creaking, squishing and clanging haunt you. Even the daytime scenes are intense. The fright levels build at each scene as the malevolent lamia spirit stalks Christine.
Lohman’s Christine is brilliantly cast—vulnerably innocent, yet able to carry out terrible deeds. She transforms from a woman working on her diction to one who digs up graves in record speed. Her most memorable line in response to the medium’s suggestion she make a blood sacrifice to appease the spirit, a small chicken perhaps:
“I’m a vegetarian. I volunteer at the puppy shelter, for Christ’s sake.”
You will agonize each time the lamia comes for Christine because it feels like it’s coming for you. The ending is a visual coup.
Co-writer/Director: Sam Raimi
Run time: 99 minutes