Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Sam Raimi's return to horror is out on disc just in time for Halloween. I missed it in theaters and was not disappointed a bit by Drag Me To Hell when I watched it last night. It's classic Raimi, meaning it's like a 1940s Looney Tunes cartoon featuring Daffy Duck driving Elmer Fudd batty, except that in Raimi's take, Daffy Duck is a soul-devouring goat-shaped demon from hell, and Elmer Fudd is a willowy blond who works in a bank.

Said blond gets herself in trouble because of an even greater soul-destroyer: capitalism. She's desperate for a promotion at the bank, and she is running neck and neck with another staffer who's an unctuous bootlick. When an aged Gypsy in danger of losing her house requests a third extension on her loan, our heroine's instinct is to pity her and say yes, but the boss reminds her that tough decision-making is a requisite skill of assistant managers. So she gives the old one-eyed bat the heave-ho. In return, she receives a curse. For three days a demon will torment her, and after the third day it will take her to hell. She has limited time to alter her fate.

The film is more hilarious than scary, but many of the gags are gross. There is more goo than a Nickelodeon cruise, and Raimi has digitized goo at his command now: no more fire-hose jello aimed at Bruce Campbell. Oh, and the old Gypsy drives a certain yellow sedan which fans may recognize...

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