I'm a little ashamed this review isn't coming a day sooner.. or at least 24 hours sooner, indicating that I did the honorable thing and waiting in line for the midnight showing of this movie. Truth be told, I'm slipping; I didn't wait in midnight to see this, I still haven't seen the new Terminator, and I refuse to watch that Wolverine movie again, minus the green screen this time. I love movies, but as my interests branch out and I really start to dig at myself for having not released my t-shirt line yet or being featured in an issue of Juxtapose, I'm finding I have less time to watch 'em. Not only that, but I just finished watching every episode ever of Spaced and like, five other T.V. shows. That's REALLY time consuming.
Anyways, back to the movie review. Drag Me to Hell2323 was piles of awesome, just like I expected it to be. Sam Rami, notorious director of the Spiderman flicks but adored by hundreds of thousands of horror geeks for his Evil Dead Trilogy, shows just what he's capable of when he returns to his native genre with a big fat budget. You get all the same screaming, vomiting gore - the over-the-top theatrics, the hilariously funny one-liners and sight gags - but this time, it's with a powerful crew of talented makeup and CG artists, making his vision an epic and beautiful one.
The plot is simple enough (and sort of derivitive of Stephen King's book Thinner). Christine Brown has it all. Great boyfriend, sweet job at the bank, she's beautiful. She's vying for the sweet promotion, that assistant manager position, and because of that, she's forced to make some tough decisions. One of those tough decisions is telling an old gypsy lady (who is very, very gross) that she's already had 2 extensions on her house payment. The gypsy lady, not understanding that paying your house note is a personable responsibility and that the Christine, regardless of whether or not she could have granted the extension but had absolutely no good reason to do so, decides to curse Christine with an old demon called Lamia. Christine is attacked by the gypsy in the parking lot of her bank after she leaves work that day, and later consults a psychic who gives her just a lil' more detail into what the curse is and what it does.... want me to tell you? Ohhhh kaaaaay, since you asked. It tortures her for three days, then drags her soul to hell for eternal torment. Collectors, hear that? You best start granting extensions to every gypsy you come across.
Anyways, it's all traditional horror and it's all not. There's a comic element that only Rami seems to be able to blend successfully. There's the risks he's willing to take, from bizarre camera angles to a woman fighting a hankerchief to the death. It's... it's good. It's amazing. It's also PG-13 somehow, so it's kid friendly enough that, as long as you don't mind your kid seeing eyeballs flying around or the occassional maggot, you've got the perfect movie to take a young niece, nephew or cousin to who hasn't seen Evil Dead. You'll leave the theater their new hero and it's at that crucial moment that you can make them watch something truly awful, which will make you feel awesome. I promise. I suggest Cannibal Holocaust - they'll be in therapy for years. No, really, just make them watch Drag Me To Hell and leave them admiring you with mad love and attention. For PG-13, I can't think of a single other horror film that's half as capable of making you jump out of your seat.