Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ok... fine. I'll go see Drag Me To Hell in the theater.

I have been very resistant to the hype around Sam Raimi's "return to horror" Drag Me To Hell. For several reasons this should appear odd. I'm a huge fan of Sam Raimi horror movies, and think that The Gift, his often overlooked previous return to horror is an underrated gem. I love the Evil Dead movies. LOVE THEM. So why not be excited?

I'm not even bitter about Spider Man 3. Ok, sure. I'm bitter about Spider Man 3. I mean, the film sucked. Toby disco... I'd have slapped Raimi on my way out of the theater for that crap. But I really don't hold that against him. That's not what this is about.

The trailer did just about nothing for me. There are glimpses of the kind of old Raimi charm in there, and even a little old school Poltergeist goodness. But on top of those sprinkles is a glaze of big budget gloss--the kind found in bad Wes Craven movies like Scream 2 and the terrible, terrible Cursed. And all that glossy goop, it's covering a plot that from the trailer bares a striking resemblance to a film that was not particularly good. Let's see if this sounds failure to any Stephen King masochists--I mean completests: some yuppie white person does a gypsy wrong. Gypsy goes all "I curse you: _____er" and then they have only a limited amount of time before the curse kills them. There doesn't seem to be anyway to stop the curse... but you can escape it by passing it on (and no, I'm not talking about The Ring).


Yeah. I nearly forgot Thinner existed as well. And was happy to forget. But sure, Raimi isn't just making a ripoff of that fest pool. His film doesn't have the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding trying to be evil. It is has original elements... like the ones it stole from The Ring (which is of course a remake of Ringu which was based off a novel that had a lot more to do with hermaphrodites than the dangers of student films apparently... but I haven't read it to be sure, so who knows). But that's not all we can derive that's creative and original from its trailer... there's also a seance/exorcism scene! Because... there aren't already something like six horror movies from this year and the last that didn't have this kind of scene in them. I know, I know: it's a horror stable, and that's fine, but I'm tell'n ya, I'm sick of them! We are officially maxed out on the holding hands at the table stuff. Let's set on this standard for a solid three years or so, ok?

So yeah. As much as I wanted to like this movie, that add's turned me WAY THE HELL OFF.

The hype has been too much. Every corner of online geekdom I've turned to is gushing for this movie. And yeah, I've wanted to gush too. But I just haven't been able to drop my guard on this one.

Well. That has officially changed. The Spoony One has convinced me. Not because he and I tend to agree on everything. In fact, on several occasions we really haven't, but because he's a picky bastard who for better or worse tends to be very believably earnest in speaking his mind. And if he's not going to tear this film a new one, chances are I'm not either.

Drag Me To Hell is officially the movie I'm looking forward to seeing in the theater as soon as possible. I was pretty confident that I could start my top ten horror movies of the 00s list and shelve it till new years. Now, I'm not.