Blu-ray Review: Drag Me To Hell (Collector’s Edition)

After years of struggling, Sam Raimi had hit massive paydirt with three Spider-Man films that made billions at the box office. But as fun as his webslinger flicks were, they made him tone down his ultra-slapstick elements that filled his Evil Dead series. So Raimi cut back on his budget to return to his true cinematic nature of mixing Three Stooges violence with supernatural horror. Drag Me to Hell brought him back to his roots where evil wasn’t just a guy in spandex.

Christine Brown (Matchstick Men‘s Alison Lohman) is a loan officer at a bank counting on a promotion. But her boss (Get Shorty‘s David Paymer) doesn’t think she has the toughness he needs in the new desk. She immediately sets out to prove it by hard balling the elderly Sylvia Ganush (Freeway‘s Lorna Raver) that just needs an extension on her mortgage payment. While this goes against everything Christine is about, her boss takes note that she’s not a push over. However she picked the wrong old woman to screw over. Ganush not only beats her up in an outrageous parking deck fight, but gives her an old Hungarian Gypsy curse about the devil dragging her down to Hell. Very quickly the curse takes hold during a disastrous dinner with the parents of her boyfriend (Justin Long from those “I’m an Apple” ads). She tries to make up for it, but Ganush isn’t quite in a forgiving state. Christine seeks help from psychics, but are they able to expel such a major curse?

Drag Me To Hell is satisfying for people who had waited not only through the Spider-Man films, but also Sam’s way normal studio flicks like the one about Kevin Costner pitching a perfect game. This was the Sam who made us appreciate Shemp. The film spoke of the times since that was when the mortgage system collapsed and people were being evicted from their homes. There was an audience ready to see bankers and loan officers dragged to Hell.

The boxset contains both the PG-13 and unrated director’s cuts. Raimi was the one who wanted the theatrical version to be PG-13. What’s the point of having a film made by the director of Spider-Man if the kids who liked those family friend flicks can’t get into the see the latest? So the movie your saw at the Cineplex was a little bit more restrained. The director’s cut contains no new scenes, but pumps up the blood and gore. And who wants less gore and blood in a Sam Raimi movie? Other than the backers of Spider-Man and For the Love of the Game? This was the cinematic Sam Raimi that we all enjoyed dragging people to the theater to see.

The video is 2.40:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer brings out the ugliness of the curse as things go bad for the loan officer. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 so the nightmare wraps around your ears. The movie is subtitled.

Production Diaries (35:09) is a mix of Behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Sam Raimi, Actors Allison Lohman, Justin Long, David Paymer, Dileep Rao, Lorna Raver, special effects guru Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) and even Director Of Photography Peter Deming. Long promises us mud and maggots.

Vintage Interviews (33:37) with Director Sam Raimi and Alison Lohman And Justin Long. Sam talks about getting to return to a horror film. He talks of liking all the power he controlled during the Spider-Man era.

TV Spots (0:50) promises a return to horror with a vengeance.

Theatrical Trailer (2:21) shows how a nice girl can toughen up and go to Hell.

To Hell And Back (12:36) is a recent interview With Alison Lohman. She talks about how long the hours were. She slept in her trailer on a few nights. She says Sam dragged her through hell. But she enjoyed working with him.

Curses! (15:58) catches up with Lorna Raver. If you don’t watch this bonus feature, she will put a curse on you. She was ready to do anything for the role. Her pals were excited that she was working with the guy behind Evil Dead.

Hitting All The Right Notes (17:10) goes over the cues with composer Christopher Young. Turns out the musician saw Evil Dead and wanted to work with Sam Raimi.

Still Gallery (2:11) are dozens of images from the production including the person working the slate.

Scream Factory presents Drag Me To Hell: Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Sam Raimi. Screenplay by: Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi. Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao & David Paymer. Rated: PG-13. Running Time: 99 minutes. Released: February 13, 2018.

Tags: , ,