An old gypsy gives Alison Lohman hell in bed.
Most nights, Ayo! Scott turns the lights down low and gets lost in a gooey gore-fest. But enough about his bloody good bust-offs with the menstruating maidens of this world. Ayo! wants to talk about Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi's rad return to squishy scares (despite the title, it's not a closeted right wing rant against the evils of transvestism). Not since he directed For Love of the Game (1999), the 53rd installment in Kevin Costner's undying baseball movie series, has Raimi frightened fans like this. Yes, after spending much of the millennium caught in the web of increasingly shitty Spider-Man blockbusters, he's doing the sort of hilariously horrific work that he became famous for when he made The Evil Dead (1981) for cheap at age 22.
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a kind-hearted, sympathetic loan officer who goes against her bank's best interest to help customers. When her boss (David Paymer) makes it clear that she won't get a coveted promotion unless she toughens up, she tries to impress him by denying a mortgage extension to Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver), even after the grotesque gypsy begs at her feet. Publicly humiliated, the old hag later attacks Christine in an isolated parking garage (not since he volunteered to steal from the elderly at a nursing home has Ayo! been so thoroughly entertained by seeing an old woman get bashed). After their unforgettable fisticuffs, the wicked witch curses Christine with a demon that will drag her soul down to hell after tormenting and toying with her for three days.
As his heroine transforms from softie to cold-hearted killer clawing and scratching to save her soul, Raimi masterfully balances terror and humor as only he can, drenching the audience in all types of gloriously gross goo, from stringy phlegm and embalming fluid to maggot vomit and exploding eyeballs. Just as he shook up the stale horror genre in 1981, he challenges the lame torture pornos and rehashed remakes of today to use a little more wit than tit (not that there's anything wrong with throwing some DD's on it). This may be the only horror flick this year worth Ayo! pulling out on his regularly scheduled gooey gore-fests. It's just that bloody good.