Open Forum – Drag Me to Hell

31 May 2009 at 08:30 (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

As promised, I went right out to see Drag Me to Hell, the hotly anticipated new horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi. With my expectations high, I worried that the film might disappoint. It didn’t. The film combined just enough cheesy special effects, make-up, and dialogue with genuine suspense, well staged action sequences, and gross-out moments to keep me engaged from beginning to end.

Drag Me to Hells protagonist:  haunted by the ghost of a gypsy or her working class background?

Drag Me to Hell's protagonist: haunted by the ghost of a gypsy or her working class background?

What’s more, it exceeded my expectations ideologically. The film took a relatively sophisticated approach to identity by taking into account the intersections of class and sex. Of course, it’s treatment of ethnicity left something to be desired. I also noticed that as in the Evil Dead series, the female body remains the sight of much trauma, with an emphasis on the mouth as penetrable orifice:

But its critique of the primary protagonist’s quest for upward mobility delighted me, even though it personalized the issue through a single character clouding a systemic view of the issue. Bottom line: it’s rare to see the nightmarish side of the so-called American Dream of class ascendancy.

Because I’m sure that many readers have their own thoughts on Drag Me to Hell, I am hoping that folks will contribute their own assessments of the film in the comments section. What did you think about the film stylistically? Did the combination of camp and horror work for you? What was your interpretation of the film overall? Your thoughts on the ending? Please voice your ideas here!

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1 Comment

  1. Childhood Cinematic Traumas #4: Fantasia « Dark Room said,

    […] Dumbo, and Bambi. But does that measure up to the horror elicited from movies by Dario Argento, Sam Raimi, and others that Caitlin has discussed? Also, the lady who runs this blog eats Takashi Miike for […]

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