Drag Me to Hell
Produced by Buckaroo Entertainment
Directed by Sam Raimi
Screenplay by Sam and Ivan Raimi
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Some reviewers have hailed Drag Me to Hell as an hilariously ghoulish comedy. I can’t think why. Oddly enough, it takes calculating discipline to make a comedy genuinely hilarious, and that is what’s singularly missing from Drag, director Sam Raimi’s return to his horror roots, following his Spider-Man successes.
Raimi began in the 1980’s by making such stylish trash as The Evil Dead trilogy. Better was to come. Darkman (1990) displayed far more visual grace than Tim Burton’s often flat-footed Batman, and at a fraction of the cost. Then in 1998 Raimi directed A Simple Plan, a rare film adaptation that improves upon the novel from which it is drawn. Raimi muted the Grand Guignol aspect of Scott Smith’s narrative to focus on its Cain-and-Abel struggle, dramatizing how greed can drive otherwise unassuming citizens murderously bonkers.
The constant in Raimi’s films has been his imaginative tact. Although horror has often been his métier, he’s generally been able to draw a line between entertainingly scaring and grossly disgusting his audience. It’s this line...