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Drag Me To Hell

USA 2009
produced by
Robert G. Tapert, Grant Curtis, Joseph Drake (executive), Nathan Kahane (executive) for Ghost House Pictures, Universal
directed by Sam Raimi
starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Adriana Barraza, Chelcie Ross, Reggie Lee, Molly Cheek, Bojana Novakovic, Kevin Foster, Alexis Cruz, Ruth Livier, Shiloh Selassie, Flor de Maria Chahua, Christopher Young, Ricardo Molina, Fernanda Romero, Joanne Baron, Ted Raimi, Ali Dean, Octavia Spencer, Meyoung Laman, Bill E. Rogers, Bridget Hoffman, Tom Carey, Lia Johnson, Aimee Miles
written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, music by Christopher Young, special makeup effects by Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger/K.N.B. EFX Group, visual effects by Bruce Jones

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Christine (Alison Lohman), loan officer at a bank, refuses old Mrs Ganush (Lorna Raver) another extension on her loan, knowing she'd never be able to pay back what she owes ... but also because she's up for promotion, and impounding the woman's house for the bank would get her a great deal ahead. Mrs Ganush though doesn't take this lightly, and attacks her on the parking deck of the bank, pretty much smashes Christine's car, and curses her before disappearing. From now on, Christine lives through all sorts of haunting experiences, so much so that she wants to make amends to Mrs Ganush ... to arrive too late, the woman has died earlier that day.

Of course, that freaks out Christine even more, and the hauntings grew worse by the hour, but her boyfriend, psychology professor Clay (Justin Long), is convinced it's just Christine's nerves - but he realizes it's more than just that when Christine totally loses it during a dinner with his stuck-up parents (Chelcie Ross, Molly Cheek) ... but he sticks with her, even though he hasn't got the foggiest what to do.

In her desparation, Christine turns to a psychic (Dileep Rao) who tells her on the third day after the curse the "lamia" will drag her to hell, but he hooks her up with a medium (Adriana Barraza) for an extremely haunting séance that is supposed to drive away the lamia but only costs the medium's life but solves nothing ... but Christine learns that the curse isn't exactly stuck on her but a button Mrs Ganush has torn from her coat and turned into a sort of beacon, then returned - so if she passes the button on, whoever receives it will be attacked by the lamia in her place ... but Christine does not know a living being she wishes to be dragged to hell, so ultimately she buries the button with Mrs Ganush - which is good enough, since her soul's still around - and figures everything's fixed now. Well, she better thing again ...

 

Now one thing up front, Drag Me To Hell is most certainly not on a level with Sam Raimi's groundbreaking Evil Dead-series, it's much more traditional in plot, much more mainstream in approach, and maybe even a little too big for its own good ... but in several of the effects scenes, Raimi's indie spirit still shines through, be it a talking goat or an arm stuck way too far into another characters throats or a wonderfully gross-out nosebleeding scene - and brilliantly enough, these scenes of practical surrealism don't stand in the way of the rather serious plot but complement it. The result is a movie that's far from a masterpiece or a genre milestone or anything of that sort - but it's way more entertaining than many a mainstream genre movie of its time nevertheless!

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD