Viewed – 31 October 2009 Blu-ray
If ever there was a perfect movie to watch on Halloween, then this is certainly a contender. Hyped as Spider Man director Sam Raimi’s return to the genre that made him famous with the brilliant Evil Dead trilogy, this energetic ghost-train ride of a movie follows the story of young loan officer Christine (newcomer Alison Lohman) who after refusing an old pensioner a further extension on her mortgage repayments, is cursed, leaving just 3 days to discover a cure before being literally, dragged to hell.
With this at first odd premise, Sam Raimi is like a court jester playing all his favorite tricks and traps as he puts our plucky heroine through the mill, throwing her all over the the shop for our entertainment (just as he did twenty odd years ago with Bruce Campbell). Now although Alison Lohman may lack the comedic charm of ‘the chin’ she makes for a feisty and believable ‘victim’, and gives the forces of evil as good as she gets, from suffering torrential nose bleeds and an arm being thrust down her throat, to swallowing a fly and being vomited upon with maggots. She certainly earns her pay cheque. Of course in a movie like this, the other actors remain set-dressing and the story is purposely basic, because the real meat here is the energy and ideas, of which there’s is no short amount. In this age of torture-porn endurance horrors (Saw, Martyrs), it’s refreshing to finally experience a horror movie that knows how to be fun as well as horrific, without leaving that nasty after-taste.
Raimi’s most infectious movie since Evil Dead 2.
Verdict: 4 /5