Drag Me To Hell

Rating – ****1/2


Cinema has to power to move us with thought provoking existential musings, depictions of the holocaust or tragic romance. But maybe it’s greatest achievement is to make a roomful of strangers howl with laughter at the sight of a haggard gypsy projectile vomiting maggots into a beautiful young girls mouth! Or maybe you prefer a possessed goat bleating “Yoooouuu Biiiiittchhhh!”

Drag Me To Hell is a giddy and hilarious thrill ride which triggers the same sensation of being on the very best ghost train! Sam Raimi demonstrates his raw talent for expertly crafting memorable and instantly iconic horror. He perfectly balances visceral shocks of the highest order with glorious black humour without ever sacrificing the integrity of either. This is the type of film you just don’t see anymore. In a world of tediously slick Bruckheimer horror remakes, I’d sadly started to look down on this genre! Those films clinically tick all the marketing department demographic boxes yet amount to nothing but an empty shell, cynically geared to Hoover up cash. This is a wake up call which legitimises this simple ambition to make the audience jump, and it becomes an art-form once again. Few genre films transcend these lowbrow aspirations because they have little else to offer. But I believe Raimi has achieved popcorn cinema alchemy just as he did with Spider Man I and II. In terms of pure entertainment value, I’d rank the cinema viewing experience of Drag Me To Hell alongside classics like Alien, Aliens, Jaws, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom and Shaun of the Dead. All these films achieve an unbeatable level of entertainment, a benchmark for all others to aspire to. That’s what I love about movies, to know that I can count on master storytellers to spin a good yarn and shout “BOO!” at exactly the right moment. You’ll laugh, jump, cringe and ultimately walk out the cinema with an indescribable buzz pulsing through your body. Now that’s entertainment!

Complaints? Where was Bruce Campbell?! And maybe a couple of the CGI shots could do with a re-render…ah who cares, I loved it!

~ by thewholebuffalo on July 20, 2009.

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