Drag Me to Hell: Sam Raimi’s Genre Curse

 

If there's one film magazine connected with the Cannes festival, it'd probably be Positif or Cahiers du Cinema, French journals whose passionate seriousness perfectly suits the movies that usually show here. This year, though, the festival's journal of record should be the American horror-movie mag Fangoria.

The official Cannes selection has included all manner of genre films: a sexy vampire shocker (the Korean Thirst), a guns-n-guts crime film (Vengeance, from Hong Kong) and two gory psycho-thrillers about devoted mothers gone bad (the Korean Mother and Lars von Trier'sAntichrist). Also, to stretch the point just a little, we've had three movies, in radically different tones (Pixar's Up, Pedro Almodovar'sBroken Embraces and Antichrist) about the stages of necrophilia — people coping not with the death of a loved one but with the love of a dead one. And this is only the eighth day of the 12-day bash. 

Now comes Drag Me to Hell — a great genre title if there ever was one — from Sam Raimi, who made zillions with his Spider-Man movies but is revered by horrorphiliacs for another trilogy, his cheapo-creepo Evil Dead movies. Taking a break from A-movie budgets, subjects and actors, Raimi and his brother Ivan concocted a script about the effects of a gypsy curse on a basically nice person who does One Bad Thing.

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