Drag Me to Hell (2009)
by Sawyer J. Lahr
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If you were a mortgage broker, would you extend the loan term of a desperate elder gypsy woman if she begged you? Not Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), a mortgage specialist for a bank in Pasadena, CA. She competes for the assistant managers position against new guy Stu Rubin (Reggie Lee) who fraternizes with the boss and finds every opportunity to discredit her.
Christine is a farm girl turned hardworking urbanite who takes speech lessons from an audiobook on the way to the office and struggles to keep off the pounds she must have worked so hard to lose. As if she needs to be distinguished from every other female who has felt self-conscious about her weight, director Sam Raimi introduces Christine looking through a bakery window, resisting the temptation to buy highly caloric pastries.
The boyfriend Clay Dalton (Justin Long, He’s Just Not That Into You) is too nice. He’s there only to stand for the hope that Christine can cure the curse put on her by Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) and return to normalcy, but Chrstine goes beyond redemption. She becomes an evil spirit herself, seeking out someone to give her curse.
The terrorizing of Christine Brown plays out in disjointed segments. She retreats to her cuddly preadolescent bedroom and sees the undead spirit of the old woman she shamed in her cell phone as she desperately dials her beau. The gypsy reoccurs, ever more grotesquely to challenge Christine’s chance for a successful career.
There is no lack of thrills for the horror fan Outrageous gross-out moments are aplenty for the squeamish audience member.
The ending is spoiled within minutes of the film following the blazing credit sequence that tells the pagan mythology behind the three-day curse of the Limi, a goat god that haunts day and night until the cursed person is dragged by dead hands under the ground into a fiery opening of hell.
The ultimate choice Christine must make is whether to appease her boss to get a promotion, which she could just as well get by proving her abilities, or go against her better ethics and turn down an extension on a mortgage that costs her more than just her dignity.
Sawyer J. Lahr is Chief Editor of the forthcoming online publication, Go Over the Rainbow. He also writes a monthly film column for Mindful Metropolis, a conscious living magazine in Chicago, IL.
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