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IN SHORT: Funny as . . . [Rated PG-13. 96 minutes]
As hard as the teevee commercials, and Sam Raimi's entire early body of work, might have yo believe that Drag Me To Hell is a return to what passes for horrorflicks these days, it is not. It is a remarkably funny movie which builds on stereotypical horror situations to get it some laughs. In our audience, and you should seek out the largest one you could find, those laughs brought applause at the film's end.
No, nothing has frozen over -- at least as far as we know. <vbg>
So there's a girl, Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), a budding loan manager at a bank in ardent competition with another budding manager for a coveted Assistant Manager position. Advised by her boss (David Paymer) to think more like a bank, she refuses to grant a mortgage extension to Mrs. Ganesh, an old gypsy lady (Lorna Raver) -- the clothes are a dead giveaway dontchaknow -- who has already convinced the bank to grant her three of the things.
Cranky's a poor New Yorker. He wouldn't know a bank extension if it hit him in the face. It's obviously a position you don't want to put a poor old gypsy woman into, since she can drop a lulu of a gypsy curse on your poor loan officer head. Which, of course, she will with all the finesse of the most pompous frenetic overacting ever put on a movie screen. Frenetic verging on tacky. That's the whole point and seven-eighths of the fun of Drag Me To Hell.
Panicked, the girl runs to her Ph.D professor fiance Clay Dalton (Justin Long) for comfort. He, rational scientific person that he is does his best to convince her that gypsy curses are so much malarky and that, maybe, she should just apologize to the lady. There's only one small problem with that idea ... the woman has died. And a Dead gypsy curse is even worse than a frenetic overacted living gypsy curse. Seeking to contact the dead, Chrisine pulls her guy into one of those psychic reading shops where a guy named Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) does business. And yada yada yada, stuff happens -- including a riotous first dinner with the in-laws to be.
Give us a break folks, we were laughing too much to write most of the specifics down.
Many situations from the old, pre slice 'n' dice days evolved in the current form. Certain production thingies, like super loud shock music aren't used in the same way now but they are still recognizable and Raimi makes sure to use 'em and use 'em louder than before. Honestly, we're not going to say much more, save a quick warning to those who have any weakness in the stomach when it comes to vomit. The stuff fairly gushes in this film, way beyond anything realistic but sure to be totally disgusting at least once. Twice if you're really queasy. Cranky's not.
Now that you're up to speed on what is going to happen, go ahead and laugh. No one will chop your head off if you do.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Drag Me To Hell, he would have paid . . .
Cranky laughed his butt off.
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