Monday, 2 November 2009

FILM: Capitalism: A Love Story

The surprise film at the London Film Festival, and it was a surprise indeed. I was hoping for Where The Wild Things Are, what we got instead was Capitalism: A Love Story, the latest from Michael Moore. A film I had no plan in seeing (I liked TV Nation and Bowling for Columbine though), so that was a disappointment, but the film itself was exactly what I expected.

So, Mr. Moore sets his sights on the recent banking crisis, drawing a lot of it back to Roger & Me, Flint, Michigan and his personal life. It does indeed highlight some pretty shocking examples of dirty greedy policies in play and the central message of "big over-the-top spending = boo, power to the people = yay" is hard to quibble with. And after an exciting rip-roaring opening (the warning message from the trailer for Herschell Gordon Lewis' Blood Feast, interspersed with CCTV of bank heists to the tune of Iggy Pop's cover of "Louie Louie"), you'd expect a big boistrous barnstorm rallying against the powers that be. However, it's mainly a grab-bag selection of sob stories (difficult situations for ordinary people, sure, but enough zooming into crying eyes) and show-boating stunts and skits that are as obvious as they are unfunny. A damp smug squib then, rather than the fireworks one would expect from Moore firing on all cylinders against the government leaders and the big banks who line their pockets.

In fact, Moore really doesn't do enough to demonstrate how wrong the previous banking practices were, so we're only really left with scattershot human interest tales rather than a proper attack with cold hard facts and figures. There are answers and ideas within, and it's more mature and balanced than Farenheit 9/11, but Moore's schtick is getting old - toothless and prone to foggy thinking.


Saturday, 31 October 2009

FILM: Gamer

Neveldine/Taylor strike back with their post-Crank offering of virtual-reality/evil media conglomerate/wronged death row inmate/future deathsport/mega-bucks TV show pick'n'mix plot strands that in many ways feels like Neil Marshall's Doomsday in its attempt to hark back to a certain breed of action film, but tries to do far too much all at once.

As you'd expect from the Crank boys, it looks quite spectacular (deliberately dodgy green-screening notwithstanding) and it's edited to within an inch of it's life and feels like the screen is going to overload at certain points (sometimes it does). But as you might also expect, there are plenty of absurdist tangents, surreal gags and major boobage. In a sense, it's too bizarre and peculiar to satisfy the Michael Bay crowd, but too mean-spirited and base to be fully enjoyed as a dumb but fun 'splosions flick. However, there is still much to be thankful for and its constant efforts to attach such a weird shooting style and sense of humour to what is a pretty pedestrian plot is commendable.

And if there's anything that keeps it afloat, it's the cast, though not so much in terms of their acting ability (Gerard Butler seems to just channel Russell Crowe in Gladiator and add nothing else), though Michael C. Hall is a highly entertaining and quirky super-villain, as you might expect from playing Dexter. Rather that the entire supporting cast is populated by a multitude of known faces, some in blink-or-you'll-miss-it cameos, many of them Pathology and Crank alumni (see if you can spot Efren Ramirez and Troma's Lloyd Kaufman). The highlight of these is undoubtedly Milo Ventimiglia, who in about a minute of screen time as the charmingly-monikered Rick Rape, demonstrates a gleefully sick side that you would never see in an episode of Heroes.

While it's hard to champion Gamer in quite the same unabashed fashion as Cranks One and Two, if you weren't put off by exploding breast implants in Neveldine/Taylor's last cinematic endeavour, you might be able to stomach Gamer, and, dare I say it, enjoy it.


FILM: Carnival of Souls

Organist Mary survives a car accident in which her friends are killed and moves to Utah soon after to take up a residency at a church. However, she is stalked by a ghoulish figure who vanishes just as quickly as he appears. An abandoned carnival just outside of town seems to hold the answers.

Reportedly an influence on both George A Romero (the ghouls themselves are clear precursors to Romero's zombies) and David Lynch (from its dreamy sequences to its supporting cast of oddballs, including the dotty Mrs Thomas and sleazebag Mr Linden), Carnival of Souls may seem a little pedestrian compared to what followed and its themes have been explored again and again, but for the time, its an undeniably absorbing work. It's creepy when it needs to be, with some eye-catching make-up and inventive sound design, but also has a dark comic streak and some quirky, often snappy, dialogue. Overall, it's always entertaining and Candace Hilligoss is superb in the leading role.


FILM: The Keep

Michael Mann's "lost" film, based on a novel by F. Paul Wilson, is famous for it's Tangerine Dream score and generally little seen thanks to a lack of a DVD release, rare print screenings (of which I attended at the BFI upon which this review is based) and it being a critical and commercial flop on release in 1983. Yet, I have always harboured a fascination in seeing it thanks to the look from stills I'd seen, the cast and the intruiging plot.

A bunch of Nazis take up base in the titular keep embedded in the mountainside of a Romanian village, only to find something possibly more evil than them lurking inside. It's kind of like the Ark-opening scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark stretched out for 90 minutes, but not at all actually when you come to think of it.

Many of the film's problems can be attributed to its current state. While the print was unavoidably scratchy and the sound often dire, it's the hackjob at the edit stage that makes much of the film incomprehensible. That's not to say there aren't poor choices elsewhere (the bizarre yankee accents of the Romanians, Alberta Watson's mega-80's hair, some very forced and clunky dialogue), but with the original cut apparently 3 hours long, it does feel like you're skimming through a book rather than absorbing it. The film frequently turns two pages at once, leading to muddy character motivations, sketchy background information and bizarre jumps and developments. I don't need all the answers from a film, but the way The Keep flowed, it seemed like they skipped the questions too. In fact, supposed hero Scott Glenn is largely superfluous to the whole film seemingly only present for a little impromptu soft-focus fornication, with the kind of double quick courting that'd make James Bond nervous, and ultimately to defeat the big bad at the end.

There is still an interesting film buried beneath. Jurgen Prochnow, Gabriel Byrne and Ian McKellen (unconventional accent aside) are as solid as you'd expect, the Keep itself is awe-inspiring (care of production designer John Box, a talk on whom was given prior to the screening) and the visual effects and prosphetics are great too. And the film as a whole does have a weird atmosphere that leaves an unshakeable impression. But ultimately, it's too muddled to be more than a cult curio. A remastered re-edited DVD release would be most welcome though.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

FILM: The Road

A London Film Festival Gala screening (i.e. free water and choccy bar - which I felt so guilty about eating while the characters on screen starve, I didn't consume until the following day) followed by a Q+A with the film-makers and Viggo Mortensen.

John Hillcoat's (The Proposition) adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's (No Country For Old Men) novel is a faithful one indeed, honouring the book's bluntness and frankness to create a very honest (one would imagine) depiction of a non-descript apocalyptic American wasteland and a father and son's journey across it. It's certainly more flashback-reliant than the original source material, but never to the extent that questions are unnecessarily answered or the overall mood is diluted.

If you've read the book, you'll know what to expect - perhaps to the film's detriment in that the impact is somewhat lessened. Either I've been too desensitised or just knew the tone of the book so well that I was not as shocked or upset as I might have been going in cold. But it's still hard not to be impressed with just how matter-of-fact yet beautifully told the story is. I had imagined a bleaker, more ash-ridden world, but this imagining of the world of the novel still manages to be both grounded in reality and often awe-inspiring, using real post-Katrina landscapes to create a sense of a land bereft of humanity, both in its physical and metaphysical forms.

Mortensen is every bit as believable, intense and watchable as in his work with Cronenberg and Kodi Smit-McPhee (soon to appear in the American version of Let The Right One In) is pretty much perfect, exactly how you'd expect a child to behave in such an impossible situation while never falling into the trap of acting 'beyond their years' - so much so that a day after the screening, I saw families with little kids in big coats and woolly hats and I got a little emotional, feeling a sudden paternal urge to protect them from the apocalypse! Add to that an impeccable supporting cast populated by well-known faces in bit-part roles (a near un-recognisable Robert Duvall may have less screen time than Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love, but I wouldn't be surprised if he got a supporting nom come Oscar time).

If you can imagine a cross somewhere between the end of The Mist and the start of Wall-E, then The Road is close to that. Though its setting and content is ostensibly bleak, there is a beauty and a purpose to it that transcends the darkness to make for a strangely uplifting and poignant piece of work.

The Road is released in the UK on January 8th 2010.


Sunday, 4 October 2009

FILM: Antichrist

Sooooo, Antichrist then.

First things first, I liked it. Incredible cinematography, startling imagery and powerful performances.

However, get past the art-house trappings and watch it as a particularly gruesome but high-end video nasty, and you'll find it a more rewarding experience than if you were trying to look for the profound despite its pretentions. The dialogue and themes explored (of man versus woman, mankind versus nature) are hardly original and the Biblical references clunky, but wouldn't feel as such in a more conventional 'terror picture'. There are elements of The Evil Dead, The Shining and a whole bunch of weirdy horror classics - though some of the more extreme moments are more reminscient of assorted works by Eli Roth and Takashi Miike - but there are still plenty of things in Antichrist I never thought I'd see in a film (and a few I wouldn't really choose to see again) though it clearly announces its intentions with a slo-mo penetration shot about half a minute in.

Is it mysoginistic? Peeeeerrrobably...when the whole film rests on one man and one woman and that one woman makes grand sweeping claims blaming all evil on womankind, it's not easy arguing otherwise. But I'd say that Antichrist, being that it is steeped in horror lore, is simply honouring the grand tradition of the female being the vessel for the supernatural (and furthermore, tying in with the Mother Nature concept) and just taking it to its natural extreme. But by being so extreme, it does veer dangerously close to (and occassionally tips over into) downright silliness; some of it is so unbelievably shocking, nervous giggles ensued. I did spend the credits laughing out loud with the two friends I saw it with because when faced with a pretty unpleasant situation, you can't take it seriously lest you become a gargantuan sourpuss.

Chances are you won't know if you wanted to watch it or not until after seeing it, but likewise, if you're contemplating seeing it, I think you already know what you're letting yourself in for. I would say the 'graphic violence' is by no means as bad as I thought it would be, but I'm a sick puppy, so don't take that as me giving you the all clear. And it's moral standpoint is dubious at best. But there's definitely something unshakeably fascinating about Antichrist, be it the film itself, that Lars von Trier actually decided to make it in the first place, or just its very existence. The world is not a better place because of Antichrist, but nor has it brought about armageddon.


FILM: Moon

While it contains themes, ideas, design, even dialogue, reminiscient of past sci-fi classics, Moon never feels rehashed or unimaginative, creating a mood and atmosphere all of its own and deserves a place alongside the masterpieces it harks back to. This is in large part to both Duncan Jones economical direction, wringing everything out of its meagre budget (with some gorgeous modelwork and miniatures), and Sam Rockwell.

For what is essentially a one-man show, you'd need a pretty decent lead to keep the audience engaged and sympathetic, and few actors are quite as adept at being affable, pitiful, serious, goofy, charming, intense, and pretty much any other facet of a character as Rockwell. Would an Oscar nomination be too much to ask? British comedy nerds will also get a kick out of small appearances from Sunshine alumnus Benedict Wong and Dr Sanchez himself Matt Berry, and Kevin Spacey's smilie-tastic robot assistant Gerty is pitch-perfect.

Story-wise, not all ideas are fully fleshed out or followed through, though in most cases this is not necessarily a problem, leaving us to fill in the gaps. Indeed, my only major quibble came with a last-minute piece of exposition that actually did more to confuse, diminish and befuddle than satisfy. But for the most part this is efficient and believable story-telling. Mysterious, gripping, hilarious, achingly sad, yet strangely uplifting, Moon is a lovely piece of work.


Saturday, 3 October 2009


After the double-whammy of Ratatouille and Wall-E, I had high hopes for Up, particularly as I'd read very little about the plot beyond the initial set-up (sort of like Gran Torino meets Indiana Jones in a surreal road-trip), but while it has some good gags and thrilling action set-pieces (maybe not best for those with vertigo), I feel it didn't quite gel together so well.

The plot itself stems from an absurd flight of fancy and so seemingly does the rest of the film. For what is essentially a 'road movie' (an often enjoyable but lazy sub-genre used as an excuse to string together disparate side characters and vignettes), despite the odd dips into the surreal, it was too conventional and predictable, sacrificing believable character development for sentimentality, and relying a little too much on whimsy and cuteness. Without the admittedly funny but obvious supporting animal companions, there'd be even less to it. It didn't manage to balance the fun and enjoyment with the emotional heart-string tugging of previous Pixar efforts and, as such, didn't hold my attention quite like, dare I say it, Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda, even though I understand they're trying to achieve entirely different things. Maybe a bad example.

I liked Up for the most part, and it's still an impressive piece of work (plus the 3D is not used in a gimmicky fashion, relying on creating depth rather than jumping out of the screen, though it's still non-essential). And with Pixar comes a certain quality guarantee that it won't rely on celebrity voiceovers, pop culture references and toilet humour. But it's overall a bit of a disappointment.

Oh, and the short beforehand was not one of the better ones either. Not quite Boundin' awful (though it has some horrible character designs too), but desperately twee.


Monday, 24 August 2009

FILM SPECIAL: 10 Most Upsetting Films of the Past 10 Years

With the recent release of controversial lady-baiter Antichrist and refusal of release for Japanese torture flick Grotesque (ah, the BBFC doth giveth and doth taketh away), cinematic misery is on the agenda once again. Sometimes we watch films to laugh, sometimes to scream and sometimes to cry. And other times, we like to be put through the ringer. And it is these films to which I pay tribute today - the ones that are genuinely upsetting but also genuinely earn the grief they land in your lap (so no Norbit then). So here are, in my opinion and in order of miserability, the 10 most upsetting films of the past 10 years (plus one that absolutely isn't)...

10. Out of the Blue (2006)
More often than not, when Hollywood gets hold of a true story, it soon becomes 'based upon a true story', then eventually 'inspired by true events' and then loses all impact (though Clint Eastwood's Changeling, which just missed the list, is a fine exception). What makes Out of the Blue's telling of the Aramoana massacre in New Zealand in 1990 is it's upfront, matter-of-fact presentation and it's all the more powerful for that. Though the story that unfolds is tragic, it's ultimately uplifting in its depiction of the townsfolk trying to survive through a terrifying situation. An understated look at humanity at both it's darkest and brightest, it's a fine film indeed.

9. Dead Man's Shoes (2004)
Plot-wise, Shane Meadows' film is ostensibly a revenge slasher flick, but few of those pictures are so down-to-earth, impeccably performed and mature. It's gritty and grim, but there is a disturbing levity to be found amongst the frankly likeable and daft small-town drug dealers gasmask-clad Richard (Paddy Considine) is out to dispatch. It's not perfect (the grainy black-and-white flashbacks are a tad student film) and arguably Meadows' follow-up This Is England is a stronger piece of work, but it still delivers a powerful blow.

8. The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)
I was in Manchester with a couple of friends and we had a choice of films at the cinema: this or Downfall. Figuring Nixon would be the less depressing option, we opted for him over Hitler. Now, I've still yet to see Downfall, but suffice to say, I'm not sure our criterion was strictly accurate. Still, we were rewarded with a superb film, with exceptional performances from Sean Penn and Naomi Watts (also both to be found in 21 Grams, another narrow miss on the upset stakes). Furthermore, the 70s setting gives it that 'Golden Age of US Cinema' feel. A must-see film for anyone who's ever felt there life is insignificant and secretly knows it'll never get better. God, that's depressing.

7. All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001)
Shunji Iwai's study of the fall-out between two schoolfriends told largely in flashback and through internet chatspeak is two-and-a-half hours of depression, suicide, angst, bullying, prostitution, humiliation and generally very bad things. Not exactly the most tantalising way to spend a night at the cinema, but what is one of the most emotionally draining films I've ever seen is also one of the most unshakeable films I've ever seen. A lo-fi digital shooting style keeps everything believable, every scene's charged with a sense of impending dread, and the music of the eponymous (and fictitious) singer lead role Yuichi (Hayato Ichihara) obsesses over is so wonderful, you can see why it's of such importance to the character. It's as perfect of portrayal of teen loneliness you're ever likely to see and 100% emo wank free.

6. Funny Games U.S. (2007)
A strange choice for this list perhaps, being as it is virtually a shot-for-shot remake by Michael Haneke of his own 1997 original work (which I haven't actually seen), but then again it was also a strange choice for my birthday trip to the cinema two years ago. It has been much criticised for it's pointlessness, senselessness and condescendingness (actual word!), but it's still an important film and one that I was quite taken by. A family (Tim Roth, Naomi Watts - seemingly a glutton for punishment - and Devon Gearhart) are taken hostage in their holiday home by a disarmingly charming but sadistic duo (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) who break the fourth wall as much as they do toy with their victim's lives. Unpleasant and uncomfortable but unconventional too.

5. Audition (1999)
The ever-prolific but endlessly interesting Takashi Miike commanded international attention with this slow-burning shocker. Ryo Ishibashi plays a widower who is encouraged by his son to find a new companion. His producer friend sets up a mock casting call as a way to meet potential girlfriends, and he becomes enamoured by a young former ballerina (Eihi Shiina). What starts as a sweet romantic drama takes a turn for the worst as her true nature and deadly past are revealed, building to a horrific climax. A precursor to the 'torture porn' trend of recent years through the Saw and Hostel films (as evidenced by Eli Roth giving the Japanese director a cameo in the first Hostel).

4. Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance (2002)
The past decade has seen the Koreans become the go-to guys for exhilirating grown-up cinema, and Park Chan-Wook is one of it's key luminaries. This, the first in his 'Vengeance' trilogy, may not be as energetic as Oldboy or artful as Lady Vengeance, but it packs a mean punch in which no-one, be they innocent or criminal, gets off lightly and happy endings are a rare luxury. Its brutality still sends ripples through the Korean film industry (most recently with The Chaser) and marked lead Song Kang-ho (later to feature in the equally excellent Memories of Murder, The Host, and The Good, The Bad, The Weird) as one of the most watchable actors in the world today.

3. Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Not a film for everyone and one I do have a few my misgivings about - it certainly piles on the misery in such an unremitting fashion it veers dangerously close to my choice of absolutely not-upsetting film below. However, if you don't want to crack a smile all day, watch it over breakfast. It's probably the best-directed anti-drugs PSA you're ever likely to see. But mainly it's a bit like Jam without the laughs. And if you didn't laugh watching Jam, then steer well away of Requiem For A Dream.

2. Eden Lake (2008)
Okay, so it's not that easy to justify the middle class heroes vs working class bad'uns angle of what was billed as the first 'hoodie horror' (despite there being no hoodies in it - and Ils got their first), but whichever way you cut it, Eden Lake is gruelling stuff. Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender are a couple out for a weekend away by the titular body of water when they encounter a group of teenage delinquents (featuring This Is England's Thomas Turgoose). Tensions rise, arguments flare, pranks go too far and soon the kids take increasingly grim measures to make sure they don't leave alive. It's a raw, uncompromising example of the best of modern British horror with a simple but chilling final shot that gives you the goosebumps.

1. Irréversible (2002)
The only film I've been to see at the cinema which advised no refunds after the film started because of the graphic content contained within, but also one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. A film so brilliantly filmed, acted and constructed it wholly justifies the terrible terrible things that take place within (despite the understandable tales of walk-outs and pass-outs). An unflinching tale told in reverse chunks a la Memento (but taking that idea to its inevitable conclusion by running the credits at the start), real-life couple Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci are joined by friend Albert Dupontel (see Bernie, see Bernie, see Bernie) on a night out that turns impossibly sour. But being that it's revealed backwards, we are greeted with the film's climax: a nightmarish descent into gay S&M club The Rectum, filled with stomach-churning spinning camerawork and low-frequency soundtrack. If that doesn't unsettle the mind as much as the body, brace yourself for the violent outburst that follows. And then there's the question of why the lead characters are there in the first place - the film's deeply disturbing and painfully real centrepiece. At least it's one of the few films on the list with a happy ending, but when that's only because we are seeing events prior to the ones we've already witnessed, it just makes it all the more upsetting.

And one film that genuinely isn't upsetting as much as it tries to be...

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

A-ha-ha-ha! Idiot's masterpiece The Butterfly Effect has become one of those cult films that I found hilarious but a surprising majority find truly deep and profound as if the concept of cause-and-effect had never ocurred to them before Ashton Kutcher went weepy and discovered the ability to change his childhood. Unfortunately, such is the list of horrors his character endures, that it piles on despair after despair, becoming ever more ludicrous. Isolated, they'd be depressing but together, it's hysterical, and include:

...visiting his dad for the first time in the mental hospital only for pater to attempt to strangle him and then die in front of him; being filmed by the local paedo for a kiddie porn home movie; accidentally blowing up a baby with a hidden firecracker; watching his dog get burnt alive...

and then when he returns home to see his school sweetheart, she flips and kills herself that evening. That's a bit of a downer, right? So for reasons barely explained (or perhaps I could barely care about), he reads his journals, he travels to the past and tries to undo the mess of his life. But in true 'be careful what you wish for fashion', nothing's perfect, his "what if?" alternate lives get worse and worse, and he ends up with no limbs! Actually, that's not the 'ending' ending but nor is it the alternate ending in which he decides to rid the world of his existence by, no kidding, warping back to when he was a foetus, then strangle himself with his umbilical cord in his mother's womb!

"Oh my gawd! Like, y'know, when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world!". Yes, but when that concept is better demonstrated in The Simpsons with Homer's time-travelling toaster, you know your film's going to be as deep as a puddle and just as interesting. Not even Ian Malcolm would care about this tosh.

Monday, 25 May 2009

FILM: Drag Me To Hell

I was fortunate to attend a special preview screening of Drag Me To Hell, presented by FrightFest at the ICA, with director Sam Raimi and stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long in attendence for a Q+A session afterwards.

While Drag Me To Hell is a homecoming of sorts for Sam Raimi to the horror genre, that is not to say he had given up on 'terror pictures' altogether. Through his production company Ghost House Pictures, he's released a bunch of fright flicks, from the remake of The Grudge to 30 Days of Night, with varying degrees of success. As director though, there were clearly hints of his earlier work in the Doc Ock operating theatre scene in Spider-Man 2, but a full-blown Raimi horrorfest was not forthcoming while the webslinger was top priority. Having finally broken free of the money-spinning web-spinner, if only for a brief moment, it was time to get back to the genre that made his name, calling the shots on a self-penned script (with brother Ivan) originated circa Darkman. And not only does Drag Me To Hell mark the return of one of horror's favourite sons, but the return of horror as just purely enjoyable entertainment.

When bank clerk Christine Brown (Lohman) turns down an extension on a home loan for Mrs. Ganush (an incredible Lorna Raver) in hope it will get her a promotion, she is confonted by the elderly lady and a curse is placed upon her: in three days time, she is going to hell. Tormented by demonic forces, she enlists the help of spiritualists and her cynical boyfriend (Long) to try and break the spell before its too late. Not an exactly original premise, and one that seems archaic in contemporary horror cinema, but with Raimi in charge it makes for exceptional entertainment.

First things first, this isn't scary. There are plenty of jolts and jumps, and the central conceit of being literally dragged to hell isn't exactly a pleasant one, but this is horror as thrill-ride. The screams are as much those of laughter as they are of fear. In fact, Drag Me To Hell may be one of the funniest films of the year. There are moments of pure hysteria on screen the likes of which haven't been seen since Braindead (not that this is anywhere near as gory, but two scenes in particular, one involving a dead body and another a Meet the Parents-esque dinner date, owe something to Peter Jackson's masterpiece), with lots of gross-out gags and splat-stick. Although some yuks don't work as well as others (thanks to a couple of CG mis-fires, though this is largely, and thankfully, a practical effects showcase), Raimi's gift of the funny remains in the film's dark sense of humour, with the lengths Christine will go to save her soul, and some zingy dialogue.

But what really makes the film such a joy is just how much of a spiritual successor to the Evil Dead films it feels while remaining totally accessible to those introduced to Raimi through Spider-Man. References abound, but not in such a rib-diggingly obvious way that generate groans nor do they confuse or befuddle non-seasoned viewers. Certainly, the seance sequence is practically Evil Dead II taken out of the cabin and into a grand hall, Mrs. Ganush herself is every bit a malevolent she-bitch, and the classic Oldsmobile makes its customary return, but the little touches, be they intentional or just wired into Raimi's film-making blood, speak volumes to fans. While Raimi's trademark twirly camera tricks are not as wild or as prevalent as in the past, the content remains undeniably his work. Even the poster is reminiscient of the original poster for The Evil Dead.

Some may decry Drag Me To Hell as a little goofy and it's not exactly going to give you any nightmares, but it was simply one of the most enjoyable moviegoing experiences I've had. Just as Star Trek reminded everyone that sci-fi blockbusters didn't need to be plodding operas drained of all character (ahem, Star Wars prequels), so too does Drag Me To Hell remind you that horror needn't always be gritty, torture-filled and excessively gory. Instead, they can simply be a hell of a lot of fun.