Christine Brown is gunning for a promotion and is advised by her boss to make tough decisions if she wants to land a new management position. Unfortunately she makes a fatal mistake when she denies a powerful gypsy woman an extension on her housing loan. Let’s just say she would’ve been better off losing out on the promotion…
Drag Me To Hell follows sweet-natured loan officer Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) on a supernatural journey. Christine’s descent starts when she goes against her normally helpful mode in order to impress her boss by denying one of her clients a third extension on a mortgage. Too bad for Ms. Brown that the one being denied is Mrs. Sylvia Ganush, who’s none too pleased about being shamed in public. She’s so pissed in fact that she waits for Christine after work and, after a violent attack, places a curse on Christine promising that she’ll go to hell. Christine attempts to right her wrongdoing with the help of her boyfriend, Clay Dalton (Justin Long), but she can’t shake the evil spirit that’s intent on destroying her. She faces an increasingly tight spiral of fear as she races against time in hopes of redeeming herself.
Just a casual Saturday night.
The movie, written by Sam Raimi with his brother, Ivan, took over ten years to get to the big screen and was initially cast with Ellen Page as the main character. Ellen would’ve definitely rocked the lead, but the viewer is lucky that Alison Lohman was in the right place, at the right time. Lohman delicately balances being both the perpetrator and the victim – you’re right there rooting for her, even as you acknowledge her mistakes and misdeeds (which escalate sharply as she fights for her life). Justin Long also serves the earnest boyfriend role well. He’s allowed to remain intelligent, even though he’s mainly left in the dark as to the true reason behind his girlfriend’s rapidly unraveling state. Stage star Lorna Raver will give you nightmares as Mrs. Ganush (which is to say she’s fantastic) and Dileep Rao shines as a psychic who tries to get Christine out of her otherworldly jam. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer has a small role as a bank coworker.
May I humbly suggest some moisturizing cream?
The real star is ultimately the director. Please give it up for Sam – yes, he of The Evil Dead fame (and much more). Raimi returns to his horror roots with this outstanding film and does a beautiful job invigorating the genre with his classic blend of chills, thrills, camp, and gore. If you’re a fan of his work, you’ll definitely appreciate this nuanced tale of morality and suspense.
This smart, entertaining flick will stick with you long after the credits role – and probably make you want to do some volunteer work for karma points in case you ever run afoul of a gypsy with a grudge!
Take a Drink: every time Alison Lohman bites her lip and looks sweet. I know this is a scary movie, but my god – she’s adorable!
Take a Drink: every time Christine attempts to return the curse to the Ganush family.
Take a Drink: every time there’s a projectile item… or fluid. (It is a Raimi flick after all.)
Take a Drink: every time Christine’s coworker, Stu (Reggie Lee), acts like a jerk.
Take a Shot: for our fallen homie, the kitten. Trust me, you’ll know.