You are likely hearing this movie compared to the Evil Dead movies and it is not an unfounded comparison. Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell is a mix of great horror and tension and some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen on screen in a long time. It has goat demons, gypsy curses, animal sacrifice and just to keep things light an anvil gets dropped on someone’s head.
Alison Lohman is no Bruce Campbell, but she’s enjoyable and charming enough to elicit a bit of empathy which is rare in these types of movies. Additionally, like Ash she doesn’t take the demon’s abuse lying down. You’ll notice a handful of signature Raimi camera moves, but the budget differences are huge and he’s seemingly able to do whatever he wants here.
The basic premise involves Lohman’s character running afoul of a gypsy who places a curse on her. This particular curse involves three days of torment from what the movie calls a “Lamia” although it is obviously a Baphomet-like goat demon. On the third day she will do as the title says and be dragged to hell. What follows is a number of attempts to appease the demon and remove the curse.
The movie relies heavily on close camera shots, slow builds and loud sounds, followed by shock images like mouthfuls of bugs and eye-cake. Raimi pulls it off by keeping the tension at its peak for the entire movie. At just about an hour and a half in length each scene leads quickly to the next where the Lamia is fucking with Lohman in one gross/startling/humorous way or another. It is certainly worth seeing in a theater with a great sound system because the effects and music are completely necessary to the mood.
If you are sick of Raimi, horror-comedies, or goats that tell it like it is you may as well skip Drag Me To Hell. I spent the whole movie laughing hysterically.
Verdict: Epic Win [9/10]