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Drag Me to Hell

In 1969 in Pasadena, California, a couple seeks the aid of the medium Shaun San Dena (Flor de Maria Chahua) saying their son (Shiloh Selassie) has been hearing evil spirits' voices after stealing a silver necklace from gypsies. San Dena aids the family by carrying out a seance, but they are attac...

Excellent

Personally, I'll give anything made by Sam Raimi a chance (except The Grudge, I tend to ignore that he had a hand in that). There's just something about his films that makes them unique, from his early days making the Evil Dead series to this little gem, Drag Me to Hell. Raimi works his signature magic by interspersing comedic elements with the overall creepiness of the story. Which, I might add, is pretty original. Thus is Sam Raimi's mastery.

The film follows a woman who is cursed by a gypsy woman after slighting her. She is told she is going to be literally dragged to hell by a lamia, a malicious goat-like spirit. What follows is a mind-boggling and stomach-turning series of events with an auspicious finale, including an eyeball cake, a séance, and a number of bodily fluids.

What makes Drag Me to Hell so excellent is its pacing. Raimi is a master at his genre, opting against cheap scares in favor of something much scarier: the inevitable. The prospect of being dragged to hell weighs on the protagonist like a drunken mistake, driving her to do things she would never dream of doing in her right mind. You'll know when you see it, but one of them is pretty extreme. The scary bits start out relatively benign; sudden breezes, things going bump in the night. But soon it becomes an all-out weirdfest, with people and things being tossed around willy-nilly and WAY too many bodily fluids. If there's one horror writer who knows his disgusting special effects, it's Raimi. Remember that claymation decomposition sequence at the end of Evil Dead? Yeah, I do too. Vividly.

Considering that this was Raimi's first horror film since his Evil Dead days, I would say that Drag Me to Hell is proof that he has not lost his touch. He's one of the few horror writers still passionate about the genre, and here's hoping for many more quality Raimi productions.

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