Friday, February 26, 2010

Drag Me To Hell

After three Spiderman blockbusters, Sam Raimi makes his masterful return to horror with this B-movie gore fest. Alison Lohman plays sweet farm girl Christine, a loan officer working hard for her next promotion. But when she forecloses on the mortgage of an old gypsy woman, she finds herself under a deadly gypsy curse: in three days time, she will be dragged to the pits of Hell by a powerful demon.

Raimi shoots the film like it’s stuck in a sealed vacuum. Sound is isolated and focused while the characters are so earnest it actually encourages the abject horror. When the scares do kick off, they’re blissfully original. Trapped in the film’s massive oral fixation, characters inhale and exhale everything from maggots and flies to stationary and bile.

Christine may be cute but in the class consciousness of the film – her boyfriend’s rich parents see her as more trailer trash than country club – she herself becomes the repulsive object. Indeed, the perverse enjoyment of Drag Me To Hell is a sadistic class-based pleasure in watching trailer trash Christine being increasingly defiled.

Published in Cream magazine #49

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