This should be the question I ask on first dates. “Do you like Sam Raimi?” No? Then, I’m sorry, but it’s just not going to work out. I say this not because of his rebirth through Spiderman. I say this because of Drag Me to Hell. Yeah, I saw it. Wanna fight about it? I went with two of my pals: Jenny and Eric. Eric had already seen the flick, but he wanted to see it again. Eric is a Sam Raimi fan. Jenny went because I made her. Jenny has never heard of Sam Raimi. This is important later, I promise.
Drag Me to Hell is a so-called horror movie about gypsy curses and people being sucked into hell because of these gypsy curses. Sounds basic enough. However, nothing is ever just basic with Sam Raimi. I first came upon this director thanks to Evil Dead (OF COURSE). Then, there was Evil Dead 2. Then—my personal favorite—Army of Darkness. Each of these severely B films had their own personal charm. They were categorized as horror movies, much like this most recent endeavor. But they never really were horror movies. They were each scary, sure. They each had moments of jumping out of your seat terror.
But the charm was in the comedy. Having Bruce Campbell as your leading dude makes this easy. Having Sam Raimi as your director makes it impeccable. It’s the way-too-close close-ups on screaming protagonist faces. It’s the shaky camera shots that make you feel like you’re being chased. It’s the random and unnecessary zooms on cleavage and the gnarly makeup caked on zombie faces. It is glory.
Drag Me to Hell did not disappoint. There’s even an epic fight scene a la Evil Dead between a pretty blond and an old gypsy woman whose dentures just won’t stay in her face. There are scenes that make you hug your knees in the dark theater. Then, there were scenes that made me want to cough up the overpriced, butter-drenched popcorn. (Thank God I didn’t get the buffalo wings, right?) When the movie was over, Eric and I were high-fiving. I was cackling and already planning to see it again. Jenny didn’t seem so impressed. Well, she seemed terrified, but she didn’t seem impressed. She was left to wonder, what just happened there? What the heck kind of movie did I just see?
Because you just gotta know Sam Raimi. I would tell you, yes, you should see this film. However, I’m hesitant. I feel like if you don’t have a previous relationship with Mr. Sam, you might not want to see this film. Frankly, you might not “get it.” It’s a horror movie. It’s gross and violent. But it’s funny. If you’re sick like Eric and me, you’ll laugh more than you scream. It was worth it for me. It was way worth it for Eric. Jenny couldn’t sleep. She swore something was crawling on her in bed, and she texted me at midnight to say, “I hate you.” So it’s up to you. For the fans out there, are you ready to revisit Evil Dead? For the novices, are you ready to meet Sam? Either way, in my opinion, well done. You’re back, Sammy boy. It’s a good thing, too. I missed you.
PS: I lost half my liver this weekend. I left it somewhere in Ohio at my little brother’s graduation. If you see it, please forward it to Charleston. Thank you. And again, congrats little Dobie.