Project 400 In 365 #9: Drag Me To Hell

In Movie Reviews on October 25, 2011 at 12:33 am

One of my friends asked me when I started doing this project if I was only going to do films I had not already seen, or if I was going to do anything no matter if I had seen it or not. I told him anything, because there were some movies that I had not seen since they came out and I wanted to see if my opinions of them now were the same as on my initial viewing. This was one such movie.

This is a storyline you have seen a million times. Cute, somewhat ditzy female has something go wrong (in this instance, a curse put on her) and then spends the movie trying to make things right. It is not really new original concepts at work here. So the question is what can the director do with this material to make it fresh and unique. The answer is, quite a lot.

To really get the full creepiness effect of this movie, you need to watch it either through headphones or a high quality sound system. The ambient sounds and effects are the biggest contributing factor in the scariness. Every little noise is amplified and used for a purpose. Even while dialog is occurring, the background notices take center stage in driving the thriller factor up a notch.

The director also makes excellent use a lighting and shadows. Subtle images flow in and out of the shadows throughout the entire movie, and when you combine these with the background sound effects, it makes for quite an intense viewing.

This film is not without it’s faults though, the foremost being the cast. Justin Long is not made for anything other than romantic comedy, and Allison Lohman is simply overmatched by script. The viewer never truly believes she is in any danger because her face and body language are one note throughout the entire movie. Moments that should be frightening to the viewer are not because of this.

This is a movie which fans of the thriller genre (and I use that term because this is not a horror movie) should enjoy immensely.

3.5 out of 5 stars.


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