Tagline: Christine Brown has a good job, a great boyfriend, and a bright future. But in three days, she's going to hell.
Synopsis: Director Sam Raimi ("Spider-Man" trilogy, "Evil Dead" series) returns to the horror genre with "Drag Me To Hell," an original tale of a young woman's desperate quest to break an evil curse. Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a charming boyfriend, professor Clay Dalton (Justin Long). Life is good until the mysterious Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Should Christine follow her instincts and give the old woman a break? Or should she deny the extension to impress her boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer), and get a leg-up on a promotion? Christine fatefully chooses the latter, shaming Mrs. Ganush and dispossessing her of her home. In retaliation, the old woman places the powerful curse of the Lamia on Christine, transforming her life into a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by a skeptical boyfriend, she seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) to save her soul from eternal damnation. To help the shattered Christine return her life to normal, the psychic sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. As evil forces close in, Christine must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse? [Synopsis courtesy of Universal Pictures]
Round-up: "Sam Raimi’s 'Drag Me to Hell' feels like the director blowing off twenty years of steam," wrote critic Eric Kohn following a screening of the film at SXSW earlier this year. "The slap... stick/horror duality that he mastered with his brilliant 'Evil Dead' movies, repeatedly and explicitly referenced in the new feature, marks a crowd-pleasing return to form. At once absurdly cheesy and amazingly self-aware, it’s a reminder of the lunacy that brought acclaim to Raimi in the first place." Indeed, serveral critics have noted that "Drag Me to Hell" is a welcome return to Raimi's roots since the director, after getting his start in comedy-horror, took some time off from the genre to direct the block buster "Spider-Man" trilogy. "At a time when horror is defined by limp Japanese retreads or punishing exercises in pure sadism, 'Drag Me to Hell' has a tonic playfulness that’s unabashedly retro, an indulgent return to Mr. Raimi’s goofy, gooey roots," notes Jeanette Catsoulis for the New York Times. "Swift and sure, 'Drag Me to Hell' unfurls in vertiginous, comic-book frames, like a long-lost issue of 'Tales From the Crypt.'" Also expressing satisfaction with the film are the LA Times' Betsy Sharkey who writes that the film "does everything we want a horror film to do: It is fearsomely scary, wickedly funny and diabolically gross, three stomach-churning states that argue for taking a pass on the $10 box of popcorn... Horror might not be your thing, but if you can push through the fear, stomach the gross and just let yourself go with it, the payoff is experiencing a filmmaker totally in his element" and the A.V. Club's Scott Tobias who says that the film "feels distinctly unburdened and fun, happily frolicking in its own pulp silliness... This is junk filmmaking at its finest." In other words, the critical consensus seems to be that Raimi's latest is a seriously entertaining thrill ride that does right by "Evil Dead" fans.