Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Drag Me to Hell
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi
Cast: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao

Christine (Alison Lohman) has a job at a credit institute and is up for a promotion. Unfortunately, her superior prefers a more aggressive approach than her usually understanding way of handling the credit applications. And so Christine refuses Mrs Ganush (Lorna Raver) a loan extension the old woman desperately needs. In turn, Mrs Ganush curses Christine and Christine soon discovers that there’s more to the old lady – and that curse.

I actually was ready to write a rather damning review of this film, but upon further examination, the movie does have some good qualities that make up a little for the completely disgusting Roma stereotyping – even if it does not succeed completely.

There’s not much gore in the film, but there were so many gross scenes. Honestly, it was one of the most effective uses of maggots and teethless mouths I’ve ever seen. You gotta appreciate such a dedication to grossing people out.

Additionally, there was some incredibly nice animation of shadows and as long as the big bad didn’t show up personally, it was a quite impressive villain. But then the CGI (that goat!) really ruined it. Though not as much as the racism – the Roma curses, the Indian mystic, I really couldn’t stop rolling my eyes at that.

But Raimi does at least make up for it a bit with his gender politics. I mean in a film where the female lead has to exhibit male characteristics to get ahead in her job, and when she does try to act more aggressively, she is immediately cursed – that I could see as a completely valid comment on the situation women face in the workplace every day, in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of way.

I just would have loved a bit more positivity in the ending (and a little less predictability). But I guess that just makes it that much more realistic. If you can speak of realism in a movie like that.

Summarising: Does have its strengths, even if it didn’t blow me away.

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