Drag Me to Hell

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(2009) ★★★½

Five Star: Thursday 9 July, 9pm

There’s no deodorant like success. Sam Raimi’s name was mud when his joky horror debut The Evil Dead was dubbed a ‘video nasty’ back in the 80s. Strange days. But as the guiding hand behind Marvel’s previous Spider-Man franchise, Raimi became a fragrant media darling in this century’s first decade. Drag Me to Hell is both a belated return to his Darkman roots and a sardonic swipe at the credit crunch. Angling for promotion, bank loans officer Alison Lohman plays hardball with Lorna Raver, an elderly Romany behind with her mortgage. The raving Raver puts the stink eye on Alison, who’s going to live – and very possibly die – to regret this. Justin Long is Alison’s bemused boyfriend (though don’t expect another Jeepers Creepers) in Raimi’s crazy supernatural sideshow. There hasn’t been a decent gypsy curse caper since Stephen King’s Thinner and, though it’s funny in a grossly obvious way, Raimi’s story is treated in a cartoony manner that’s too outlandish to be genuinely scary. It’s not terrifying like Wes Craven’s voodoo shocker The Serpent and the Rainbow. It’s more like Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners, or an extended episode of Tales from the Crypt. And you can see some of the joins in the CGI effects. But it’s undeniably good gory fun, and a far wittier response to financial meltdown than RocknRolla, Wall Street 2 and both Sex and the City films. The thunderously crashing music is by Christopher Young. Curiously, Lalo Schifrin’s rejected score for The Exorcist (used only in a trailer for William Friedkin’s film) is played over the end credits.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 99min

Other Showings Time & Date
TV3 Saturday, 18 July at 12:00AM