Sunday, October 18, 2009

Buy This DVD!: Drag Me To Hell

This is the second DVD recommendation in a row that is a horror film, but hey, it's Halloween, tis the season.

This incredibly fun scare is a return to horror for director Sam Raimi. Immortalized by geeks the world over for Evil Dead and its subsequent sequels, Raimi has been busy with Spiderman the last decade or so. This film marks the completion of an idea his brother, Ivan, and he had back when they were writing Darkman. The movie harks back to the goofy, gooey, and grotesque horror flicks of the 80's.

Drag Me To Hell is a visceral nightmare. It assaults you with every single sense. The visuals will have you looking down at your shoes on several occasions. The sound will knock you out of your seat. Hell, I  could have sworn I even smelled sulfur a time or two. Genuinely frightening, which is really saying something nowadays, the movie stays with you well after you've watched it.

The majority of horror movies are just plain awful. They contain no real scares, they're horribly derivative, and they're cheap and uninspired. The worst part about most scary movies are the protagonists. These people are complete idiots. They bring these terrible circumstances on themselves by displaying some level of retardation and quite a bit of douchebaggery. To make matters worse, once they are in the thick of it, they display no common sense or intelligence at all. You almost wish they would die because they most certainly deserve it. And that is the state of horror movies. Then there is Drag Me To Hell. Christine Brown, played by the adorable Alison Lohman, is a sweet honest girl. She's not an asshole or bitch or naive idiot. She's normal, just like we pretend to be. When the story begins to unfold and Christine finds herself falling deeper and deeper into trouble, she doesn't twist her ankle or lock herself in an attic, she makes every move you would imagine you'd make yourself if you were in her place. She's relatable, likable, and resilient. Best of all, she's not a moron.

The film also capitalizes on Raimi's love of gross. It oozes and pusses in all the right ways. It'll make you laugh, but that's just the set up. It eases the tension with a sick joke or sight gag, but then slaps you in the face with something terrifying. Drag Me To Hell does not make the mistake of taking itself too seriously, it also doesn't make the mistake of not taking itself seriously enough. It is the perfect blend of fun and fright. You may feel like you've been beaten up after it's over, but you'll enjoy every punch.

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