I’ve been sitting here racking my think-box for a good ten minutes now, trying to recall the last mainstream horror film that scored better than a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, let alone above 95%. But that’s exactly what Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell is doing at the moment, clocking in with 36 out of 36 positive reviews for a staggering 96%. Odds are that the rating will drop to the lower 90th percentile by week’s end—-no biggie. It’s pretty much a lock that this movie is going to be fantastic.
Aftet the jump you’ll find a sampling of the critical response, all beaming:
I could be fair and include one of the film’s two bad reviews here, but screw that. The most notable of the pair comes from renown hater of all things un-Academy-friendly Rex Reed, so we’ll just bypass that out of pure predictability. Instead, we’ll keep the good times moving, beginning with Entertainment Weekly‘s Owen Gleiberman:
“Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi’s delirious psych-out of a horror film, is a candy-colored ghouls-gone-wild nightmare that treats every shock as a joke — or, at least, as an invitation to crack up at your own gullibility. Raimi, like Roman Polanski in his classic Repulsion (1965), surrounds a comely blond lass (Alison Lohman) with demons that seem to be erupting right out of her head. He gets into our heads, too; he scares the unholy living bejesus out of you. Raimi’s operating model is the fun house, with its jack-in-the-box terrors, but he doesn’t just toy with the audience. He plays it, like a maestro. He orchestrates a tongue-in-cheek symphony of fear.”
Next, let’s check in with horror spokesman Brad Miska from Bloody-Disgusting:
“And for every bloody, gooey and disgusting scene, Raimi gives us an equally good scare. It has been a long, long time since I’ve experienced an authentic jump in a movie. Typically a director will have a cat jump on screen or have a character slam a door shut – something cheap to get you to jolt. Raimi hits us with a barrage of punches as I jumped ten feet out of my seat on two separate occasions. He proves that he is a master of horror and suspense and I recommend that any horror filmmaker wannabe (pretty much every horror director out there) watch this work to learn how to do it right.
Quite simply put, DRAG ME TO HELL was a blast and moved quickly from start to finish. Whether or not the acting is top notch, or if the story even makes sense is inconsequential so long as I’m gasping, jumping, laughing and cringing every step of the way. From what I saw, DRAG ME TO HELL is well on its way to becoming an immediate classic.”
Here is The San Francisco Examiner‘s Rossiter Drake:
“Some have praised Drag Me to Hell as a terrifying return to form for Raimi, and while I might take issue with the choice of adjectives – the movie is maddeningly tense and breathlessly paced, but rarely terrifying – it is certainly a welcome return. Rather than inviting the gag reflex with scenes of severed limbs and graphic torture, Raimi takes a manic, tongue-in-cheek approach to horror that seems to revel in its own absurdity. Needless to say, he’s been missed.”
The grand finale comes from The Hollywood Reporter‘s Michael Rachtshaffen:
“He might be armed with a larger budget than what he had to work with back in the pre-Spidey days, but Raimi’s still very much up to his old tricks, retaining that deliriously over-the-top brand of Grand Guignol horror that he had abandoned by the mid-’90s in pursuit of other genres…….Hatched by Raimi and his brother Ivan, the scripting is not without some clunky plot mechanics, but it’s hard to notice given all that visceral visual goop heaved onto the screen with gleeful abandon. Incorporating old-school puppetry and prosthetic makeup combined with some judiciously used CGI, along with a colorful cast and composer Christopher Young’s unnerving symphonic blasts, Raimi’s raucous trip to hell proves to be anything but a drag.”
At this point, any more praise would be overkill. Just go see the damn movie this weekend, people! It’s about time that a very good mainstream horror flick made some respectable bank. Other than The Strangers (which came out this same weekend last year, if I’m not mistaken), that hasn’t happened recently enough.