Drag me to 1981 – Raimi Returns

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I missed Drag Me to Hell when it made the theatre circuit and having now finally sat down to watch it I have to say I regret not seeing it on the big screen.

An angry gypsy curses a bank’s young loan officer (played by Alison Lohman) after she refuses to give an additional extension on the old woman’s mortgage. The young woman is then plagued by horrific visions, violent physical assaults and a barrage of fluids and grue.

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I’ve read a lot of reviews shredding Sam Raimi’s return to the genre that made him famous. I find it funny that the reasons they give for hating the movie are often the ones that made me love it. I couldn’t help but feel that it was a return to form for Raimi, a return to the inventive camera work, over the top gore and love of bodily fluids that made him a household name…well at least in broken homes.

These opposing reviews generally start with “I’m a Sam Raimi fan but…” or “I loved Evil Dead but…” and then go on to condemn the movie on aspects like the comedic aspect and use of slapstick (watch for the anvil). This point voids their opening sentence since Raimi’s balance of comedy and terror ESPECIALLY in his early films is what created so many loyal fans.

They hated the over the top gore which is laughable when you think about a pencil in the heel back in 1981 and the amount of blood shed by these teens at a cabin in the woods. Melting demons and lusty trees. Raimi was a master of gore, what exactly were these “Raimi fans” expecting.

I like the fact that Raimi has stayed true to his habit of putting his leads through as much hell as possible. Lohman was exposed to gypsy puke, some sort of post death gypsy fluid, a vicious gumming and even ended up consumed by thick brown grave water which reminded me of Bruce Campbell doing take after take in muddy puddles in Evil Dead 2.

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The only personal issue I had with this film were a couple of instances of bad CGI when I feel a practical effect could have been used (again, anvil, you’ll see). Other than that, it entertained me in a lot of the same ways that Raimi’s horror flicks always have right down to the throwback to floating, dancing, hovering demons. Creepy people puppetry always works for me.

I would say to anyone who hated this movie, especially for any of the features that really make it a Raimi film, your taste is suspect.

This movie is at least a must rent but definitely a must buy if you truly loved the Evil Dead trilogy or if you’ve had a craving to see someone stapled in the face.

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