DRAG ME TO HELL: Even A Funny Witch Can Still Terrify

How Sam Raimi made the ultimate comedy-horror baby.

We have Witches and Satan on our mind every day here at BMD, but this stuff is especially prominent now with the release of The Witch right around the corner. We're gearing up for the film with a series of articles about Witches and Satan in general. Now, we can argue all night about whether or not Drag Me to Hell’s antagonist counts as a witch, but the film sure as shit has a demon AND an evil goat, so I think it counts overall.

Aside from jump scares and scenes that make viewers squirm in their seats for the sheer amount of gore on display, true horror is a hard thing for films to achieve. Laughter comes a tiny bit easier, but that doesn’t mean good comedy is something just anyone can do. All of which is why it’s so impressive Sam Raimi manages to achieve both in his incredible - and maybe somewhat forgotten - return to horror, Drag Me to Hell.

Rather than discuss the whole film, which is brilliant and deserves all the attention it can get - I prefer to just point out the amazing car fight sequence, which you can watch below:

What strikes me most about this scene is how tense and varied it is. There are bits that are just funny (the stapler attack) and bits that are just scary (Mrs. Ganush’s reveal in the back seat), but it’s fascinating how beats can often be both funny and scary at the same time. There are many examples to choose from, the most disgusting of which being Mrs. Ganush’s gum attack upon Christine’s chin. But also think about the unity of comedy and horror just in Ganesh’s broken denture fangs. Chilling! Also, kind of hilarious!

Sam Raimi has pulled this sort of thing off before, specifically during parts of Evil Dead II, but not quite as well as he does in this film. This sequence offers the biggest showcase for Drag Me to Hell’s special blend of comedy and horror, but it’s not even the only example. You still have that talking goat. Or Christine’s amazing nosebleed at work. It’s wonderful Raimi has been able to work on a wide variety of projects throughout his career. Nevertheless, it’s also kind of a bummer we don’t get more horror films from him.

But we do have this one and should consider ourselves lucky for that. So if you’re looking for a nice, zippy horror film featuring an evil goat to watch before seeing The Witch this weekend, I highly recommend Drag Me to Hell. We need to get this movie back on track toward achieving classic status because it’s too good to forget.