Sam Raimi is truly an innovator and one of the filmmakers responsible for the direction of modern horror. The Evil Dead in 1981 revolutionized low budget horror filmmaking making leaps and bounds in technique, storytelling and makeup standards. And it spawned two equally classic sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, and recently a cult TV show in Ash vs Evil Dead. And while the Evil Dead franchise is legendary, it is not the only thing Raimi should be known for. He helped start the superhero boom with his trilogy of uber-successful Spider-Man films, made a fantastic comic book adventure with Liam Neeson in Darkman, a cult favorite western in The Quick and the Dead, one of the best thrillers of 90s with A Simple Plan, and one of the most underrated thrillers of the 2000’s with The Gift. He also made a little gem that is one of the most entertaining horror flicks around in 2009 that is now getting the Collector’s Edition treatment from Shout Factory, Drag Me to Hell.
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer with a lot on her mind. She is worried about her relationship with her boyfriend and is competing for a promotion with a ruthless colleague. So in an effort to not show signs of weakness she refuses a time extension on a loan to an old woman, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver). But when Christine’s decision makes Mrs. Ganush’s life miserable, she puts a curse on Christine that only gives her days before a demon is set to take her straight to hell. Now Christine must do all she can to find a way to stop the curse before the curse stops her. Permanently.
Drag Me to Hell has all the trademarks of a great Raimi movie. Wild camera angles, insane makeup, a story full of bizarre visuals and multiple twists and turns, and lots of laughs mixed with brilliant jump scares. Lohman is great in the lead as the woman facing damnation for a quick decision, and Lorna Raver is amazing as the old woman who places the curse. There is one scene in this film particularly that is so batshit crazy it’s hard to believe, but it has all kinds of shades of the craziest Evil Dead scenes and is disturbing and hilarious simultaneously. Drag Me to Hell is so much fun and deserves a little more recognition in Raimi’s filmography. But it is getting a pretty damn great treatment here thanks to Shout Factory. The new Collector’s Edition contains new HD masters of both the theatrical and Unrated cuts of the film, plus new in depth interviews with Alison Lohman, Lorna Raver and composer Christopher Young, plus tons of production diaries and vintage special features. Drag Me to Hell is an overlooked gem, highly recommended.