Drag Me To Hell

11/06/2009

Harry Wilding went to see Drag Me To Hell


Drag Me To Hell - Starring Alison Lohman as Christine Brown
Drag Me To Hell - Starring Alison Lohman as Christine Brown

“Magnificent”, “Horror film of the decade”, “5 star”, “5 star”, “5 star” (and so on). These are all quotes for Drag Me To Hell, which – along with the fact that Sam Raimi directed and co-wrote it – was why I became intrigued by the film and was therefore not so quick to resign it to the scrapheap of the ever increasing ‘same old’ horror that has been churned out at such an alarming rate – even though it did look very much like all the others. And, unfortunately, upon seeing it, realised it was.

I do like a great many horror films. A lot from John Carpenter and George.A.Romero, along with Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, The Ring, and the list goes on to even include Raimi’s very own Evil Dead trilogy. So; what is so bad about this one?

I can see the appeal of it in many ways. It has some disgusting moments, of which purposefully get laughs from the audience, and it is very restrained in any kind of gratuitous blood and gore. I was very edgy for most of its duration – which I suppose means it has done its job as a horror movie – but this was only because there were so many cheap scare moments.

THIS IS YOUR MAM!
Drag Me To Hell - Full of cheap scare moments

I am surprised Raimi did this. The best horrors, are those with the odd ‘make you jump’ moment, having built up the suspense for long periods; however, this was absolutely choc-a-bloc with them! It was full of so many loud stings of music just to catch you off guard; it was like been in a fairground ghost ride, which I suppose is what many people enjoy; however, I do not go to the cinema for that and I think the tactic is, basically, paint-it-by-numbers horror. I may sound like an old fogey or film snob when saying the film was too loud, but the first scene in particular was just so unnecessarily offensive to my ear drums, I physically cringed.

The ending would have been a lot better, if I hadn’t seen it coming fifteen or twenty minutes earlier; this added another layer of frustration to the great amount I was already feeling and just made me annoyed at the protagonist. I also could not relate to the reasons for the crazy gypsy woman cursing her in such a horrible way – a curse of death is one thing, but eternal pain in Hell? A bit much perhaps, especially when the granddaughter endorsed it.

I can see the appeal for real die-hard horror fans and it does have its moments (“Here kitty kitty”) but overall it is the same old kind of thing, without much originality or genuinely clever scary moments. I realise much of it was tongue in cheek, but that cannot be an excuse for the things I felt was wrong with it. 

Drag Me To Hell website



 

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