Customer Reviews: Drag Me to Hell (Unrated Director's Cut)
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on July 10, 2009
He's back! No I'm not talking about Freddy, Jason, Chucky or Michael. I'm talking about in Sam Raimi. It's been almost 17 years since Raimi has helmed a horror flick and he hasn't lost his touch. Drag Me to Hell feels like the ugly (real ugly), long lost sister of Evil Dead II. It blends jump-outta-your-seat scares with Three Stooges style slap stick. If that sounds like an odd combination then you've never watched a Raimi horror movie before...

Drag Me to Hell is a basic morality tale. The whole thing feels like a polished episode of Tales from the Crypt. The story follows Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), a young woman who is looking to move up the corporate ladder at the bank where she's employed. Her boss tells her that she must learn to make the hard decisions if she wants a promotion and the first time she attempts this she forecloses the house of a disgusting, old, gypsy woman (Lorna Raver). If classic horror has taught us anything it's that you don't EVER screw with gypsies (or carnie folk). The dilapidated crone waits for Christine in the parking garage (in Raimi's beat up Oldsmobile!) and applies the 'Curse of Lamia'. The Lamia is a devil goat that loves the taste of souls. It takes three days to fully manifest and then the demon comes looking for its meal which gets dragged back to Hell for consumption.

Christine is perfectly portrayed by Lohman and I'll be damned if that girl doesn't have some spunk! She is cute as hell and has a knack for physical comedy. One thing about Raimi is that he loves to put his actors/actresses through the ringer. Lohman is a trooper as she gets hit in the face with maggots, mud, blood, drool etc... See that's the beauty of this film. Every time something terrifying happens it's quickly followed up with some disgusting gag that makes you cringe and then burst into a fit of laughter. It's a really great group experience...much like a well executed haunted house.

Justin Long plays Lohman's love interest, Dr. Clay Dalton, and to be honest it seems like he's just along for the ride. Make no mistake about it, this is Lohman's movie and she easily carries it all on her own. The rest of the cast is merely there to witness Christine physically and mentally fall apart as the Lamia's curse intensifies.

My only real complaint is that Raimi actually had the budget to create some CG effects. While they don't ruin the movie, I would have loved to see him stick with the real stuff instead. My main problem is that the things he uses CG for could have easily been done with practical effects.

Drag Me to Hell is horror done right. Sam Raimi has crafted one of the best horror films I've seen in the past 5 years. You've got elements of Evil Dead, The Exorcist and Dead Alive all stirred into the wicked witch's brew that is Drag Me to Hell. The packed theatre I sat in seemed to really get into it, but I'm afraid some folks simply won't wrap their heads around all the goofy stuff that Raimi does. Make sure you drag as many friends as possible to see it. Rest assured that everyone will be jumping in their seats, covering their eyes, screaming and giggling like prepubescent schoolgirls! Drag Me to Hell is just flat out fun cinema. Go see it.

Final Grade: A
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VINE VOICEon October 13, 2009
Sam Raimi has been one of the top cult directors ever since he shocked the horror world with his impossibly low-budget debut The Evil Dead. He proved himself the absolute master of black absurdist comedy with the sequel Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and added polish and cheesy goody times to the adventure flick that closed the series, Army of Darkness. He has also become known for his comic book adaptations Darkman and the massively successful big-budget Spider-Man series, and has produced some outstanding cult fantasy television series such as Xena Warrior Princess,Hercules The Legendary Journeys, and the recent Legend of the Seeker. Not a bad career for any geek god. But having faltered in recent years with the embarrassingly underwhelming "Spider-Man 3", and by attaching his name to bad horror films such as the American J-horror remake The Grudge and the abysmal Boogeyman, I may have lost my faith just for a little while. Sorry I doubted you, Mr. Raimi. To think I almost didn't go see "Drag Me to Hell" in the theater. PG-13 typically spells "kiddie horror", but the man made it work. Spectacularly. I never once felt that this film pulled a single punch. It not only shows you the good/bad stuff, it vomits it on the floor in front of you and forces you to laugh at it. This is overall the best reviewed horror film in recent memory and in this man's opinion Raimi has again served every other horror director out there nearly 30 years after "Evil Dead" dropped. Applause is called for.

Let me get to what those of us who saw it in the theater want to know first. How is the unrated director's cut? Well, it's exactly the same film. However, there are a few shots where extra gore was added that apparently would have pushed an already intense horror film into R-rated territory so they were left out of the theatrical cut. I welcome the additions, but I do wish there was more material to justify the "unrated director's cut" label, which implies something more substantial even beyond an R-rating. And while I'm on about the DVD, the special features consist solely of about 30 minutes of excellent production diaries. I wanted more. A commentary with Raimi and the stars would have been great considering the director's talent for entertaining commentary tracks and the great personalities of the film's two charming stars Justin Long an Alison Lohman

The story and setup of "Drag Me to Hell" couldn't be any more standard or unimaginative. Through a series of unfortunate events, a good person makes a bad decision under stress and winds up cursed by an old Gypsy woman. An evil spirit will torment her for three days and then take her soul into the abyss unless she can find a way to stop or appease it. Standard. Unimaginative. But I've often said that I don't mind the redundancy inherent in genre entertainment so long as the execution is solid; and it is beyond solid in this one. Ms. Lohman is the loveliest thing I've seen on screen in some time. As our protagonist, Christine, she is sweet and vulnerable but also prone to temperamental moments of badaz$ery, which come off as downright cute and funny no matter how mean-spirited her intent. Raimi' sadism when it comes to his leads is legendary and Christine gets no quarter. Coping with stressful situations like meeting her boyfriend's terrifyingly shallow and judgmental mother or vying for a promotion at work against a ruthless amoral up-and-comer are bad enough without an evil spirit only you can see or hear blasting terrifying visions in your face without warning. The film definitely uses the speakers to maximum effect which could be annoying in it's volume, but I feel that the film is trying to put you in Christine's shoes and makes you personally experience what is driving her insane, which is the flash-visions and screaming noise that accompany them. Some may call them cheap "startle scares", but I feel it was for immersive purposes and I can tell you, it keeps you on edge. Mission accomplished, then.

"Drag Me to Hell" is not a comedy, but it is very funny. The film is absolutely grim and you will see some deaths that will horrify you. The scream of sheer terror that punctuates the opening scene is one I can't get out of my head. Unlike most horror directors, Raimi doesn't care about morality. He doesn't go into a film thinking he's going to punish the horny stoned teenagers and let the good-hearted innocents off with a warning. Like I said, he's a sadist. Regardless of how cute and nice and young a character is, they're getting it bad one way or another. Empathy will get you nowhere. It's all part of the fun.....if you're a sick bastard like me, that is.

The story goes from one messed-up situation to the next and Christine winds up seeking supernatural help to try and do away with her invisible demonic tormentor. The film climaxes in what has got to be the wildest and most bizarre seance in cinema history. That scene was where the film went from good fun to borderline classic for me. I laughed hard even as I was completely shell-shocked by what I was seeing onscreen at the time. It's relatively easy to be scary OR funny, but scary AND funny at the same time? That takes a special kind of talent. I have only one major complaint about "Drag Me to Hell" and it consists of a single bad CG shot. Most of the effects are practical, and you will see in the production diaries that Lohman quite literally ate maggots to get a good shot. What a trooper. I told you Raimi's a beast. Any way you slice it, this movie is the real deal and it pushed it's PG-13 rating as far as possible with disturbing death, vile excretions in unsavory place, and a generally sadistic attitude. Even with a few extra-nasty shots, the core film is only slightly more shocking then it already was. It's still the same movie. No better, no worse.

"Drag Me to Hell" has all of the familiar charm and zany unexpected bleak humor we've come to know from the director, and it's really amazing how comfortably he slipped right back into the horror genre. In my opinion it can easily stand alongside the Evil Dead films in terms of sheer entertainment value and really could easily be seen as taking place in the same "universe" as it were. Some may (and do) disagree but I would sentence those people to watch every inane toothless PG-13 horror film of the last two decades and then give this one another shot. It'll look like The Exorcist in comparison. Good modern horror is hard to find on the big screen these days. When we get it, let's embrace it with both arms, shall we?
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on April 11, 2015
I would have to say that for scare factor, this gets a 3 star. It's more shock-scare than creepy-scare. It's as if they were trying to recreate the dramatic changes in volume level to surprise you more so than scare you. Have to give it a 5 star on the gross-sickening side. At almost every chance they got, they made this old lady's mouth connect openly to the pretty young starring lady. With plenty of fluid exchange going on. On effects I'll have to give this a 4 and a half star rating. . Good job of cinematography. Now to put this all together, it's got a lot of cheesy parts with really nothing new. And if it was truly scary enough, they wouldn't have to blast the volume abnormally high to intensify effect. This is probably going to be most enjoyed by the younger teen bracket. At best, a one timer. Falls short in many major areas to be a contender with a real Horror-Supernatural movie.
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on October 28, 2015
One of the greatest horror movies I've seen in years this film has some great jump scares and little gross humor mixed in. It also has an interesting hidden message. The acting and special effects all hold up as well. If you liked Evil Dead or Brain Dead you'll love this.
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on September 23, 2015
I LOVE THIS MOVIE. It's campy, funny and a little scary. The lead actress was simply fantastic. Blueray may be unneeded for this movie, but I'm glad I have it as I'll watch it many times over the years. In fact, I think I'll go downstairs and watch it now!
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on January 8, 2010
Los Angeles, The Present: Christine (Alison Lohman) is a timid small town girl trying to cut it as a banker in Big City and failing miserably. Eager to build a secure foundation for herself and her academic boyfriend, Clay (Justin Long), as well earn the respect of Clay's snobby parents, Alison eagerly pursues a promotion to assistant bank manager, a task which sees her locked in a passive aggressive struggle with weasily, conniving contemporary, Stu (Reggie Lee). During the course of a working day, Alison finds herself reluctantly forced to act as judge, jury and executioner on the estate of Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver), a sinister, elderly Gypsy woman who is defaulting on her mortgage. Keen to prove herself to her boss as the kind of capable employee who can make a hard judgment call, Alison goes against her better instincts and forecloses on Ganush's mortgage. But as anyone who has ever seen a horror movie knows, crossing an old Gypsy woman is never a good idea, and before long Alison finds herself pursued by a relentless demonic force that quite literally wants to drag her straight to hell...

I'll be honest. I had gone right off of Sam Raimi in recent years. I loved the "Evil Dead" films but absolutely despised the "Spiderman" films and despaired of ever seeing a decent film from the man following his mainstream success. Luckily for me though, "Drag Me To Hell" heralds a return to his earlier gonzo style of film-making.

Taking it's cue from M.R. James' short story "Casting The Runes" and any number of seventies satancentric Amercian TV movie schlockers, "DMTH" is a joy-ride through glorious excess and bad taste. Those familiar with the "Evil Dead" films and those gloriously tacky 'movies of the week' will know what to expect: its less of a horror film and more of an absurdist dark comedy which takes a subtle jab at our 'win-at-any-cost' culture of corporate success. Which is not to say that it isn't rife with gore and general ickiness. It is. Its just that its rendered in a tone more akin to that of a Tex Avery cartoon than a hardcore splatter movie (indeed, a carefully positioned and precariously suspended anvil is actually responsible for a gloriously grotesque demise at one point). Likewise, a scene in which a goat is possessed by a demonic force, and begins to bleat about how much of a "b-e-a-a-a-i-i-i-t-ch" our protagonist is, is a clear indicator that things should not be taken too seriously.

While its not going to be too everyone's taste, I had a ball with this film. It made me roar with laughter and grimace in equal measure. It'll confound those who aren't in on the jokes, but if you grew up on a diet of Tex Avery and films like Fear No Evil,The Legend of Hell House and Curse of the Demon / Night of the Demon (an excellent Jacques Tourneur directed adaptation of the aforementioned M.R. James story which this film obliquely references several times) then you'll probably take this one to heart.
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on December 23, 2013
The best part of this movie happens in the first 20 minutes although it does have comical parts throughout. The main character showed some real gumption for someone that was in deep doodoo and how far someone is willing to go to save their own hide. It is not something I would seek out again but it wasn't the worst that has been produced in the last couple years.
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on February 15, 2015
Really enjoy this Sam Remi movie, and watch it from time to time. There are two discs. One is the actual DVD Blueray, the other is an electronic copy for your computer or ITunes.

The Blueray version is very good quality, but I'm bummed because they set the expiration electronic or ITunes copy date to 2012. Basically, the disc used to copy the flick is worthless. Plus, to make matters worse, I have been loading Ultraviolet movies to my Online Flixter account.

One good thing is if you already own a movie and if it isn't Ultraviolet then you're given the option of paying a conversion fee of $2.00 dollars for SD and $5.00 dollars for HD.

Overall, fun Friday night popcorn scary movie worth having in your Blueray library.
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on July 26, 2016
This is one of my favorite movies. I cannot tell you how much I love it. It's a funny gore fest. I am not a huge fan of horror, but this movie has enough comedy and fantastical to it to balance it out. Sam Raimi really knocked this one out of the park. My husband thought he would hate it and I rented it just for him. He LOVED it.
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on October 29, 2015
While not my favorite show in the work Sam Raimi is a genuis. I love his work. This show had aspects that were simply awesome and those that just weren't so much. The main characters generally simple mind made her a target of much tongue lashing from me in the audience.

I would definitely recommend this show to any fan of Raimi's work.
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