A loan officer evicts an old gypsy woman from her home and
is then given a terrifying curse that will kill her in three days.
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi
Starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao,
David Paymer, Reggie Lee, Adriana Barraza
Drag Me to Hell is one of the eeriest, most frightening movies I've seen in a long time. I remember seeing it at the movies in 2009, but then it got away from me. Revisiting it again ten years later showed me yet again that Sam Raimi is at his best when he's doing horror, and he knows how to craft a supernatural narrative that simply doesn't let up. Don't read from the Book of the Dead, and never piss off an old gypsy woman.
Alison Lohman does a decent job as Christine Brown, a surprisingly cold-hearted loan officer who does a number of questionable acts in the movie that make you wonder if maybe she deserves what she gets. Maybe I'm too harsh, but she does murder a kitten. Regardless, when she denies a loan extension to Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver), Mrs. Ganush attacks her in the parking garage and places a vicious curse upon Christine. In three days, a demon will come for her and, well, drag her to hell. The horrors that Christine faces in those three days are way more frightening than I remembered. This film holds up among recent horror greats like The Conjuring, but it's got that unmistakable Raimi flair to it that keeps it teetering over the edge into comedy.
The film wasn't as successful as it should've been, and thus has been shelved as a cult classic. I think it deserves way more mainstream attention. I rank it right up there with the Evil Dead franchise as some of his best work, and definitely one of his scariest. This is a film I'd forgotten about and I'm very glad I've managed to rediscover it.