A little over halfway into Drag Me to Hell, the protagonist is trapped in a tool shed, choking on a throatful of demon. Christine, the sympathetic but nonetheless damned loan officer, is pinned against a bar, about to asphyxiate on this old (undead) woman’s arm. Luckily, Christine’s got an ice skate in her hand… and there’s an anvil above her supernatural adversary’s head. You can practically hear Daffy Duck groveling, “Thisth meansth war.”
So goes the logic of Sam Raimi’s last (and as of this writing, final) horror film, which was summoned to Netflix this month for a much-deserved cultural revival. Why is there an anvil hanging in a tool shed? Well, because Christine is going to cut it down, of course. And when the anvil drops, it isn’t going to just topple the old lady. It’s going to squash her, and jettison a pair of eyeballs (with a side of loose scalp) into Christine’s mouth. Yummy.
Directed by Raimi in full Bugs Bunny mode, Drag Me to Hell is an antidote to the self-seriousness of many modern horror movies, which can ignore how silly ghouls and goblins are in favor of labored metaphors about trauma. Luckily, 2023 movies like M3GAN and The Blackening have shown us that new horror can have fun too, but the cathartically vulgar violence and cursing goats of Drag Me to Hell feel like a special Acme brand of horror comedy that simply doesn’t exist anymore. It’s careless. It’s fun. It’s straight-up Looney Tunes.
Raimi and his collaborators first conjured up their version of this idiotic — yet painstakingly choreographed — camp horror back in the ’80s with the landmark Evil Dead trilogy. Those movies are not so much comedy-horror films as they are scatalogical fireworks displays with a cartoon quality to the jokes thatRead more on polygon.com