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Spoiler Talk: ‘Drag Me To Hell’
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Sam Raimi returns to his horror roots with Drag Me To Hell, which opened in theaters today.

Spoiler Talk is usually reserved for a spoiler-filled discussion about a movie — and we’ll get to a little bit of that later — but for this edition, allow me to focus on the true spoiler of Drag Me To Hell — the American teenage audience. That’s right, I made the dreadful mistake of going to a 7:30pm Friday showing of this PG-13 horror flick, so I got the special viewing complete with running commentary, texting, and cellphone lighting.

The beauty of a Raimi horror film is that there’s suspense, there’s tension… you’re on the edge of your seat the whole time. You know something is going to go “bump” in the night, yet when it happens, you’re startled nonetheless. Well, all of that is lost when Vinnie Stunad and his buddies NEVER STOP TALKING through the entire movie. God forbid there’s a split-second of silence, these hormone-raging ADHD morons just HAVE TO say something, anything, doesn’t matter what it is, if it makes sense, etc. When they’re not adding their retarded (yeah, I said it) commentary to the film itself, they’re trying to explain what happened in the movie to their equally moronic girlfriends who weren’t paying attention because they were busy texting.

I tweeted about it (AFTER the movie) and a bunch of people are responding that their experience tonight was the same as mine, which really sucks. This didn’t happen for Raimi’s Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, both of which are Rated R — see the difference? If only Raimi had thrown in a few “fucks” and maybe a boob shot, none of this would have happened. But, considering I was one of five adults at my showing, you have to wonder, who would have gone to see this movie if not the teens? If it had been Rated R, would those adults who apparently know better than me have come out of hiding to see it on opening night? Hmm… I wonder how it was at the Up showing.

Ok, so let’s make believe I actually got to hear every word of this movie: What did I think? I LOVED IT! I’m a big fan of the Evil Dead movies and while I understand that Raimi needs to earn a living too (hence, the Spider-Man franchise), I can’t help but desperately want him to keep at what he’s best at — horror.

In the film, Alison Lohman plays Christine Brown, a loan office tasked with making the choice whether to give an sick old woman (Lorna Raver) an extension on her mortgage loan so she won’t lose her home. Going against her conscience in an effort to get a promotion at the bank, the meek young Christine rejects the old woman’s request. In a rage at being denied and shamed, the old Mrs. Ganush puts a curse upon Christine that will … yup, you guessed it … drag her to Hell; yes, right down into Hell, fiery pits and all. With only a few days before her soul is consumed, Christine must find a way to break the curse and save herself.

Likes:

— My favorite sequence in the film is, without a doubt, the one where Christine fights off Mrs. Ganush’s attack in the car in the parking garage.
— Christine digging up Mrs. Ganush’s grave.
— Alison Lohman in general.
— Mrs. Ganush, though she scared the hell out of me, she was one awesome character.
— The gross-outs: Christine’s projectile nosebleed; Mrs. Ganush constantly mouthing Christine; basically, all of the gross crap Christine had to endure.

Dislikes:

— The kitten sacrifice [no, no, no!].
— Justin Long. He was so damn unlikable in this movie and I always like him. Stick to being funny, Justin.
— The thought of working at a bank.
— How easily Christine accepted that she was in fact cursed and how even easier it was apparently to find the right people willing to help her break that curse.

Well, there’s my initial thoughts; I’ll probably have to see the film again (perhaps a morning showing?) when I’m not so thoroughly annoyed in order to discuss it at length. Plus, we have our official review of the film coming real soon, so be on the lookout for that.

Now let’s hear I’d rather hear what you guys have to say.

What did you think of Drag Me To Hell? Should Sam Raimi keep on making horror or turn his attention back to superhero films? How was your theater-going experience?

8 Comments »

  1. This is one of the main reasons that I’m so bitter about certain movies needing that R-rating. Even without the swearing and nudity, just some more hardcore, realistic violence gets you there and everyone is happy.

    Truth is, these are the people studios MAKE PG-13 movies for. It’s not because they can get away with more – that’s horse shit. It’s because these are given the money to get them out of the damn house, and they bull-rush these movies whether they’re good or not.

    You know how many people reacted scared while I was seeing “White Noise”? A lot. If it screams “BOO!”, they devour it.

    The fact of the matter is, these brain-dead jackasses can’t form a logical thought without a half-naked chick on MTV with a wad of Big League Chew where her brain should be telling them what to think.

    This is the future of our country, folks. Mike Judge’s ‘Idiocracy’ may just not be that far off.

    This is why I haven’t been to the movies since July.

    Comment by The Movie God — May 30, 2009 @ 12:08 am

  2. @The Movie God
    ‘Idiocracy’exactly.

    Now, I’m not saying I was the perfect teen, always well-behaved and such. But when I was growing up, you didn’t talk through an entire movie and disturb everyone around you. And the text ARGHHHHHHHHH! WTF? You’re sitting in a theater with 12 of your friends, who the fuck is there left to text?

    I’m not sure what would have given this film an R, except for a few curse words and nude scene. The movie didn’t feel at all like it was cut down to make the PG-13 rating, but hey, maybe it was. In horror, I guess you have to be ‘Hostel’ to warrant an R rating.

    Comment by Empress Eve — May 30, 2009 @ 12:30 am

  3. I had a similar experience with the exception of the age of the audience. I had texting, obnoxious comments, and people answering their phone MULTIPLE times during the movie. The sad thing was, they were mostly adults older than me.

    The Movie God has a point, most of the time I have a better experience watching a movie at home on my HDTV, surround sound system, and Blu-ray player than I do in the theater with jerks. The temptation to “wait for Blu-ray” is getting harder and harder to resist.

    The actual movie itself was awesome and I had a hard time getting to sleep last night as a result. Classic Raimi! So glad the studio didn’t seem to hinder him the way they did in Spider-Man 3.

    I’m interested to hear if The Movie God and Empress Eve are looking forward to Spider-Man 4.

    Comment by Vactor — May 30, 2009 @ 8:15 am

  4. Other people: this is why i haven’t been to a movie theater since Serenity came out (and about 3 years before that). I’ll stick to DVDs in my own home, it’s worth the wait.

    Comment by Dax — May 30, 2009 @ 8:52 am

  5. Similar experience. Wife and I sat in mid-theatre, seat in a middle aisle so we could stretch out, relax, lots room.

    ThudThudTHUD as the four teenage girls behind us, couldn’t have been older than 14, kicked our seats and the empty seats beside us. Constant talking from them through previews. Movie starts, get partway through entry scene of Drag Me To Hell and I had enough, turned around and looked at them in the eyes and told them to be quite. They said “ok, sorry” so I said “thanks” and went back to the movie.

    Five minutes later I hear some whispering and slight giggling – not a problem. Hey, we all whisper to our movie-going-partners from time to time and they’re kids. As long as it doesn’t disrupt my movie experience I’m fine.

    Ten minutes later they forget about keeping it quite and giggle and talk louder, I half turn, hold up my hand (with my coffee cup) and motion them to settle down. A minute later they kick the chairs a last time and leave their seats to go sit somewhere else, presumably someplace where there isn’t someone with the nerve to tell them to shut up.

    On the plus side, they could have been worse. Or maybe a 6’4″ guy without a hint of amusement in his eyes sitting in close proximity telling them to be quiet was the trick, who knows.

    Sadly, had a similar thing happen at he last movie we saw out. I forget what the movie was but it wasn’t teenage girls – it was a bunch of 20-something stoners :) They didn’t smell like alcohol and… yeah…. they were stoned. They were cool when I asked nicely if they could quiet down a bit.

    “Here, kitty…” …LOVED Christine’s facial expressions during the “I used to have a cat” discussion.

    that was one of the best parts… and the goat… can’t wait for it to be out long enough to get a vid clip of the goat…

    Comment by Lysander — June 3, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  6. My husband and I went to this movie after a coin flip, then two out of three, and then one more coin flip…it was between this movie and The hangover. Both getting good numbers on the tomato meter.

    We picked great seats away from the majority, upper center. The beginning gave me the creeps, don’t like to see kids die…just rubs me the wrong way. Anyway, about 10 minutes in a group of teens come storming in. And guess where they sit? Yep, right by us, ugh. The movie was entertaining and I was in it for the duration until I figured out the cat was going to get it…I’m done. Between that and the teenagers antics we left that place with our money back and a couple of free passes. From there it was ice cream and The Godfather in the comfort of our home and pjs…but I wish I knew what happened. I just can’t do animal killing, esp since I just got a cat that looks almost identical to the one in the movie.

    Comment by rolanda — June 6, 2009 @ 1:00 am

  7. Loved it!

    I agree with your sentiments about the teenagers (although I am in fact an ADHD teenage girl…so let’s just pretend you didn’t pseudo insult me and move on :P ) I actually had to tell someone to shut up for the first time in a theatre while watching Drag Me To Hell (Prick actually answered his phone, not to say “I’m in the theatre call me back”, which would have been bad enough, but to TALK! For about a full 10 minutes before I threw popcorn at him and told him to shut it) there was nothing I could do about the texting girls though.

    I loved the movie though! Completely a Sam Raimi horrorfest, it was all I could do to keep from cheering when the Classic showed up. And I had a silly grin on my face throughout.

    Likes:

    The cat sacrifice, possibly the funniest scene in the film! The completely character 380 from “I could never kill an animal! I’m vegetarian!” to “Here kitty kitty” within 10 minutes. Classic.

    Christine projectile bleeding all over her boss

    Digging up Mrs. Ganush’s grave…although I’d actually have preferred Christine to have drowned after being hit with the cross. It would have been ironic. But then again there would have been no dragging to Hell and that was satisfying too.

    Dislikes:

    I agree that Justin Long wasn’t that great in this film, which is weird because I absolutely love the actor. Although I did like the last shot of him in shock…it made me feel really sad actually. Almost made up for the rest of his character (esp. him NOT going after Christine when she freaked out at dinner, that part made me really dislike the character.)

    Comment by YoSafBridge — June 21, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  8. This horror movies pretext is horrible. The underlying message seems to be if you’re female and have any back-bone at all you’re going to hell (in the old horror movies it was always if you were female and even THOUGHT about sex). It is a decently made B movie but no one over 14 should enjoy this movie – it’s nihilistic, cruel and profoundly stupid. Somebody who doesn’t remotely deserve it ends up going to hell, not really for anything they’re done (trust me, according to this movie just being in a bad mood could send you to hell forever) just because some old wicked witch wishes them there.. I wish I could wash this one out of my brain; I deeply regret seeing it and think Raimi should, if not be sent to hell for it, have his purgatory time extended a little (maybe make him watch Tarzan with Bo Derek a few hundred thousand times..)..Profoundly lame.

    Comment by Wm Hayduke — September 17, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

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