Ever read that Stephen King book Thinner? In it, a lawyer and a couple of other people are cursed by a gypsy in the opening pages and then disintegrate over the rest of the book. One guy loses weight until he wastes away (hence the title), another guy gets such bad acne that he eventually blows his own head off. That is terrible acne- imagine the acne Robert Davi must have had as a teen…
Well, the acne King describes is even worse than Davi probably had it. I remember descriptions of “tea-saucer size” pustules, “pink mounds of irritated flesh,” etc.
Anyway, the gypsy in that book unleashed all sorts of awfulness on the protagonists of Thinner. But guess what? Gypsies today have stepped up their game.
The shit that is unleashed on Alison Lohman in Drag Me To Hell is pretty astounding. After denying a gypsy a bank loan, a curse is placed on her and the rest of the movie is watching her endure… well, pretty gross stuff.
Sam Raimi (the director and co-writer) uses the modus operandi of putting all sorts of different fluids in Lohman’s mouth. Seriously, it seems like half of the movie is watching disgusting shit placed on or into the heroine’s mouth. Vomit, a house-fly, embalming fluid, a decrepit arm, a sore-infested gummy mouth, an evil doily, Justin Long… just kidding, Justin Long is cool.
Raimi must have read about where a typical person’s insecurities lie, and found that people just don’t like ingesting terrible stuff. Then he made a horror movie about it. And you know, he’s right… if I learned one thing from watching this, it’s that you should always give a gypsy what he or she wants. Because Alison Lohman just has a terrible time of things. Seriously- you won’t believe the nonsense she goes through.
Even if the gypsy you run into seems to be of the jolly, genial variety, just start giving into their demands. Immediately. Odds are, even the kindest of gypsy’s dabbles in the black arts, and frankly, why risk it? So whatever change is in your pocket, a Balance Bar, a bank loan… whatever. It’s worth it, believe me. Otherwise, you could have this lovely staring you in the face…
Drag Me To Hell is a lot of fun- not really scary, but funny in the way that Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies are. I read a review that hyped the sound design, and that is dead on. Every creak of a door, buzzing of a fly, and rattling of a window is exaggerated and used to heighten suspense. Raimi coaxes every bit of tension out of a pretty basic scenario; the guy is a pro.
I guess I should mention that this is a PG-13 rated horror movie. Anyone who knows me is aware of my feelings on PG-13 horror; to paraphrase Waylon Jennings, it does to horror what panty-hose did to finger-fucking.
But this movie worked as PG-13, and I think it is because Raimi wasn’t interested in your typical gore and viscera, such as blood (although there is one VERY bloody scene which ends, fittingly, with a character screaming, “Did any get in my mouth?”) and guts. No, he is more creative with his disgustingness, and the PG-13 is appropriate.
Go see it- you’ll see what I mean.