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Drag Me to Hell


Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Reggie Lee, David Paymer, Adriana barraza, Dileep Rao, Molly Cheek, Chelcie Ross

Director: Sam Raimi

Mysteriously revered in some quarters as a masterpiece, this hilariously bad horror film will have many people in stitches almost throughout. Made by Sam Raimi, who started in horror, but on this evidence should stick to Spider-Man films, it stars Lohman as Christine, a loans officer at a bank, who denies an old gypsy woman (Raver) a third extension on her mortgage payments because she's anxious to be seen as ruthless enough to merit a promotion.

As a result, she's cursed by the gypsy, (who has bad false teeth!), who invokes a lamia (evil spirit) that will arrive in three days to drag Christine through the earth to Hell below.

When Christine's told she must sacrifice an animal to appease the lamia, it's apparent that her adorable kitten is toast, and she duly sticks a knife in the poor beast, though it seems to have little effect on the curse, and she suffers a projectile nose-bleed all over her boss (Paymer).

A seance may be the answer, and the goat that takes part in it is only saved when it speaks up for itself. 'Why didn't you tell me this before?' gasps Lohman. Boyfriend Long is of less help than the goat, alas, especially after she goes berserk in front of his parents.

Lohman, one of my favourite unsung actresses, is as likeable as she's feisty, but none of the actors really look as if they believe in this poppycock, in which the button which enables the gypsy to cast the original curse makes a ridiculous reappearance at the end. 'Sometimes,' groans the medium (Rao), 'the unsettled ones linger by the door.' Not much chance of that here.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 23 May 2009