Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Drag Me To Hell' (2009)
A happy ending for Karens
I think what makes this movie so brilliant is how brutally unfair it is. I've mentioned this before in early reviews, it's hard to take the horror seriously if you're rooting for the killer to win. In order to really drive horror home, you have to make the viewer empathize with the victims. That's what really makes something terrifying, being able to step into the shoes of the horror victim. And here's the thing, this movie is kinda silly. So, imagine a movie that's kinda silly but with characters so well developed and easy to sympathize with that it's still good horror. I mean, the plot is what really drives it home. Imagine if an absolute Karen was given the ability to send people straight to hell. Scarry, right? I mean, if we really go over it, Alison Lohman's character really didn't do anything wrong. Yeah, it's never fun to be the other person on the end of evicting someone out of their home, but as she said, her boss really has the final call. Sure, the guy tries to absolve himself by telling her she has the last say, but so did Paunchous Pilot when he "Washed his hands" of the execution of Jesus. Her boss knew he was dangling her whole life over her head and through that was clearly using coercion to get the answer he wanted. Seriously, only an absolute Karen would blame the employee and not the Boss. You imagine if someone that self-righteous was able to just pick who goes to hell? Frightening shit right there.
Outside of that, MAN the tone of this movie was so damn silly. There are those who refer to it as horror comedy and I don't blame them. The talking goat, the silly FX, the fact that absolutely EVERYTHING ends up in Alison Lohman's mouth. I mean, seriously, they go all in on that gag. I've always wondered, as seriously as they took the plot, was it a complete accident that the rest of the movie was so silly. I mean, it's not like they didn't try. The tone of the movie seems intentional, so it almost seems like they really wanted to make it a bit silly. Maybe it's because the plot is so brutal that they wanted some way to lighten the punch. But then I ask myself why they'd want to do that and I wonder if it wasn't totally by accident. I mean, you'd think if they knew they had something that could hit that hard, they'd want it to hit as hard as possible. But this is what they went for. Killer plot, silly execution.
I mean, the acting was hammy. Good enough for horror but in a way where it looks like that's what they were going for. Like they were trying to emulate classic horror from the seventies and eighties. Now those movies never intended to be hammy, but let's face it, they were pretty hammy. This movie seemed like it was trying to bring back that feeling. So the acting was actually pretty good, if you think about it. That's like acting pretending to be a bad actor.
And that means the FX were actually pretty good, because that's what they were likely going for. That talking goat, and everything ending up Alison Lohman's mouth seems intentional, after all. This was all a part of the gag, so that means the FX are actually quite smart.
But yeah, I'll take this movie for all of its silliness because the ending is some hardcore bullshit.
I wonder if the average Karen wound up rooting for the Lamia in this movie. I mean, the Romani woman starts off by sending a little boy to hell for filching a fucking necklace. Imagine being such a self-righteous cunt, that you think a child should suffer eternal torment for over a couple ounces of silver. So when she curses the main character over turning her down for a third extension you wonder how she balances her morals. This bitch would totally send someone to hell for giving her incorrect change at the grocery store. If every slight is an excuse to send someone straight to hell, then it would be only right if Alison Lohman's character sent the Romani woman to hell instead. But because this movie really has to hit you directly in the balls as many times as humanly possible, that's not the ending you get. The Romani woman dodges her own cures when Lohman regifts her the wrong envelope, and BOOM Alison Lohman's character goes straight to hell. While her boyfriend watches. That's just fucking brutal. That's in the runner for darkest ending, right next to The Burrowers (2008). Burrowers is still number 1 for that, but Drag Me to Hell is a good second.
But you know what? This movie is so smart in tone and plot that you really just have to see it. I absolutely recommend it for all Horror Heads.
About the Creator
I'm the foulmouthed horror movie critic. I post new reviews every Sunday, so stay tuned =D
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