Dinca: contemporary art and culture

Brief Thoughts on Drag Me To Hell

A Sam Raimi film for people who really like Sam Raimi films

drag me to hell

By Jack Kentala

Some would say I’m unqualified to “review” a Sam Raimi movie. I agree. After all, the only films of his I’ve seen are Spider-Man (decent), Spider-Man 2 (worse), and Spider-Man 3 (deliberately terrible). I have seen nothing of his horror films. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a contemporary non-M. Night Shyamalan supernatural/horror film.

Thus, I feel a bit out of my element here. I can’t even make a decent comment relating to the cinematography, since the shooter, Peter Deming, has been all over the place: Austin Powers, Scream 2, Mulholland Drive, and The Love Guru. Not exactly the most consistent career choices.

So I’ll avoid all attempts at making a coherent essay and wheel out the Hate-o-Matic, which will spit out all my random, semi-coloned thoughts about the film since, hell, I’ll spend most of tomorrow picking apart Where The Wild Things Are. And, honestly, Drag Me To Hell was slightly above average. Though quickly dragged (har har) back to average because it featured the obnoxious “I’m an Apple and am clearly hip and cool and PCs are for dads!” ad guy.


Let’s take a deep breath and—


  • Another horror movie basically about a victimized young woman? PASS;
  • …that thrives on a) gross-out, vomit-related gags, or b) flash-cuts of scary things set to a huge spike in the mixdown, or c) wind blowing stuff when, clearly, there should be wind;
  • …which I’ve been told goes back to the director’s “roots,” which is a statement that always sounds like an admission that the director has started to suck (see also: Spider-Man 3, though conspiracy theorists suggest it was deliberately bad) and that they try to copy their old style, which is, usually, never a good idea unless you’re Martin Scorsese;
  • …that contains a limp women-in-the-workplace subplot;
  • …including a scene of vomiting blood that, for whatever reason, doesn’t really concern people other than possibly getting the blood in their mouth;
  • …dates itself hopelessly with a saturation of Toyota Prius and glowing-Apple-on-the-back-of-a-Macbook shots;
  • …devolves into quite a bit of Believe Everything Some Mystical Guy Says nonsense after a very brief science-vs.-non-science word exchange;
  • …further devolves into some bad wirework in the faux-climax;
  • …to further climax during a rainstorm which invariably becomes a wet t-shirt contest featuring the female lead and a dug-up grave that fills up with water really, really, really fast;
  • …and leading to a fake-out ending that is pretty obvious but semi-satisfying, since the moral of the story is Don’t Fuck With Gypsies

And I’m spent.

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