Tuesday, May 26, 2009

to hell and back

There used to just be two things that frightened me in this world: sharks and hammocks.* Now I can go ahead and add freaky gypsy curses to my list of scary things to avoid. Yeah, I just saw Drag Me To Hell, director and writer Sam Raimi's return to horror. Not particularly bloody, but there was enough phlegm and formaldehyde to keep me wary of Romanians (no offense, Romanians). This film is PG-13, but I couldn't help cringing for the few pre-adolescents in the audience. (There was a lot of whimpering, much of which I suspect was coming from my manfriend). Keep in mind, I convinced my friend's mom to buy me a ticket to Alien 3 when I was 11 and complained afterwards that it wasn't nearly gory enough. (Sorry, David Fincher. Se7en ruled and I'm psyched you might adapt The Goon!) So you know, take my opinion with a grain of bloody phlegmy salt.

The film is carried by Alison Lohman, whom I've been quite taken with in the past. But a few of her line readings...well, did you ever see that awful Drew Barrymore Cinderella movie Ever After? With her awful awful accent? There's a particularly painful moment in that film in which she says, "I...will...try." It was in the previews if you feel like YouTubing it. Anyway, it's an awful line reading, and I used to quote it after a few cocktails. Sadly, I'm pretty sure Alison Lohman did that exact same line reading with almost the same words three or four times in Drag Me To Hell. Overall, her performance was strong, but it's not a good thing when an actress reminds me of anything related to Ever After. Ever.

Justin Long, whom I also think totally rules, did that thing that he does where he's supposed to be handsome and charming, but comes off as kind of weird and smarmy. I blame the haircut. And Jeepers Creepers. You've never going to live that down, Long. Hands down, the best performance came from Lorna Raver as crazy gypsy lady Mrs. Ganush. The woman is a spry devil at 65 and vomits grubs like an actress half her age. Truly, she in an inspiration to all.

Drag Me To Hell, I give you a solid and comfortable B. Delicious campy horror with only a slight aftertaste of old lady liver spots.

Always check the backseat, Lohman.

*That's not true. I'm also afraid of Chucky, Freddy, Jason, Michael, and Caligula starring Malcolm McDowell and Peter O'Toole.

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