There is a horror film in the stratosphere that is so perfect, so fun, so god damn crazy that it has sky rocketed to my number one horror film (ok that’s a big call so I’m gonna say one of the top top top):
Drag Me To Hell
I was living in London and went to see Drag Me To Hell at Leicester Square cinema when it came out. Well make that three times in the same week. Since a young age I have always been watching films, while working in a big video store in Perth, Australia I would take home and watch dozens of films every week. So my knowledge of cinema was just budding but quite in depth for an 18 year old. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I sat down in the dark cinema and the retro Universal Studios logo came spinning into frame – an ode to the 80’s horror that director Sam Raimi loves so much. 99 minutes later and I was stuck to my seat, gob smacked at the pure genius I had just sat through. It had been one of the first times I had watched a horror that made me laugh and thrill me simultaneously.
Drag Me to Hell begins with Christine Brown a loan officer who is on the way up. Her boss tells her she needs to start making the “tough decisions” to be a shoe in for the new assistant manager job at the bank. Unfortunately Christine chooses the wrong day to up her game. Mrs. Ganush an old gypsy comes in asking for an extension on her loan but Christine refuses. After begging Christine the gypsy woman is taken out by security screaming and hissing. Later that day, in what is probably one of my favourite scenes in any film, Christine comes head to head with the gypsy and ends up being cursed by the old lady. What entails is a tyrant of evil forces taunting Christine, readying to take her to hell.
Drag Me to Hell is a strange beast. I know people who have seen it who just don’t get the humour and think it’s a crappy film (and if they tell me that I usually tell them we can’t be friends). It has a very particular sense of humour similar to the Evil Dead films but not as OUTRIGHT crazy and campy as the popular 80’s films. The character of Mrs. Ganush is played to perfection by Lorna Raver, as she has no fear as an actress to be as ugly and insane as needed. Alison Lohman is the film’s protagonist playing the innocent Christine who turns into one hell of a kick-ass female by the end . I mean if I went through the shit she did I don’t know if I would be able to come out the end that bad-ass. Justin Long also pops by playing Christine’s loveable and dorky boyfriend.
Drag Me to Hell helped shape the way I love cinema and horror. It shows that you can mix horror with comedy and have an unforgettable experience. I wish more horror today incorporated humour into the mix because the line between terror and hilarity is very thin and it’s hard to have one without the other. So I sit here six years later still in awe of the sheer brilliance of Drag Me to Hell thanking Sam Raimi in helping light my passion for horror.