Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover looks great. It would make an awesome poster. Even if it doesn’t really reflect the tone of the movie, it’s still a good offering. The menu is irritating, with clips from the movie playing over and over. Is it really necessary to show us the movie before we watch the movie?
- Production Diaries – This is a good look at the production of the movie. It’s not really a diary, it’s just a collection of clips and interviews from behind the scenes. I’m not criticizing. I think it’s the perfect extra amount of information about the movie. We get to see how some of the grossest scenes are made, stunts are done, and how Raimi does his movie magic.
- Unrated & Rated Version Of The Film – Hmmm you get about 9 seconds more of blood in the unrated version. I’m not convinced that’s enough to give us a whole other version of the movie.
- BDlive – Trailers and links to other upcoming DVD’s….not very interesting to me.
- Digital Copy – I am considering putting this movie on my laptop for future viewing when the urge for some creepy curse stuff hits me. Keep the digital copies coming.
- Universal Ticker – This isn’t an extra, it’s advertising. A ticker rolls in the top right corner with upcoming movies on DVD. Nice way to sneak in more ways for us to buy their stuff.
The Movie: 7/10
Drag Me To Hell is more fun, more entertaining, and better as an experience than it is as a movie. That confusing sentence will be followed by this one: As a movie it’s scratching at an above average score, as a way to spend an evening watching a crazy fun movie, it’s awesome.
It has a few of those moments when you might roll your eyes and the goof factor hits you square in the jugular, HOWEVER, that’s part of the fun people! Our leading lady, a young woman working in a bank who wants a promotion makes a poor decision concerning a particular customer. Think gypsy, witch, evil old lady with a gross eye, that kind of customer. Now, I like gypsies. I don’t think we should automatically associate the idea of evil curse giving old ladies with a whole people, i.e. Gypsies. In this case though, it happens to be the case.
A curse is cast and the creepiness begins. I love it. I have always liked the idea of some evil force out there in nature, something lurking, waiting to be unleashed by a collection of words. Then again, who decided that these spirits have to obey this rule. What if I were some long dead remnant of something evil and the association of curse casters says I can’t come back to torment humans unless they say something like “Shombo azlo iperious”. I might think that’s a bunch of superstitious hoohaa and just do what I want. In Raimi movies however, the spirits follow the rules and when a human mumbles the right words evil comes to us, taunting, haunting, tormenting, like in the case of our sweet little banker chick.
Ultimately she chose to further her career over helping an old lady save her house from foreclosure, therefore we have to all agree that she has it coming. The curse is a classic version of others we have come across in these stories, it takes three days for it to come to full power when our ‘victim’ will be dragged to hell. Those three days are fraught with panic, fear, and some really good all around scary moments when the sound and special effects are subtle but troubling enough to get me sitting up in my chair with that worried look on my face. That’s not an easy task, I’m not easy frightened, so hats off to Raimi and his crew. I enjoy those fleeting glimmers of the days when I was a kid and got the crap scared out of me by movies. Nothing compares to The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby, but that feeling, even if it’s only for a second or two, is exciting and it makes me want more.
Our leading man is banker woman’s boyfriend, a harmless, helpful, protective type who doesn’t really believe in the curse but he’s willing to go along to make her happy and to get rid of whatever is tormenting her. I like the guy who plays the boyfriend, he’s got moments of “just right” when he’s not the star of the scene and needs to really give that feeling of sceptically boyfriend but not jerk who doesn’t believe her.
The gypsy woman is awesome! She’s appropriately gross, rude, gaggingly icky with her false teeth and dodgy eye, all of her character is just right. I was convinced that if she were to be right around any corner I might be turning I would crap my pants and crumble at the site (and smell) of her.
Overall I enjoyed Drag Me To Hell a lot! It felt a bit old school, moments of quiet creep factor mixed with almost comic book fight scenes and gore offerings. I only hope I find a few more of these gems this Halloween season. So, the score might be a 7 out of 10, that’s because it’s not a GREAT film by any means..but in my heart, as an experience I’d say it’s an 8.5 🙂
Audio & Video: 9/10
I will start this section by saying I am a big fan of this movie on Blu-Ray, but have to say the picture quality leaves a little to be desired. It’s not that its bad it’s just not what I expected from a movie made in 2009. Colors are muted and detail seems limited. The image lacks the 3D look some of the better Blu-Ray transfers showcase. Like I said earlier it’s not a bad looking movie I just expected a little more.
That said it’s the audio that is the star of the show on this new film by Sam Raimi. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is truly impressive with lots of the scares actually coming from the soundtrack not the visuals. On some of the recent movies we have reviewed we may as well have unplugged our surround speakers but Drag Me To Hell uses those rears in almost every scene. This is a showcase disc for the kind of Audio Blu-Ray does best. Check it out.
Raimi fans, you know who you are, you have to have it so the price isn’t an issue. It’s not outrageous, but at nearly 30 bucks it’s too steep for me to recommend buying it. If you like a bit of modern old school horror flickness, rent it and enjoy. There aren’t many extras to make an evening of it so a couple dollars for the movie and the rest of your cash to rent some old Raimi classics, that’s the way to go.
Overall Score 7/10