Monday, January 3, 2011

One Cheesy Moment Can't Ruin A Day In Hell


It's possible to like a movie despite it's shortcomings, especially if the story is delivering interesting characters, or at least putting its characters in increasing jeopardy that seems believable and logical.
Case in point is Sam Raimi's recent horror film, "Drag Me To Hell." The film places its heroine in mind-bending jeopardy, as only horror films can, and keeps the plot moving at a white-knuckle pace.
The story involves a bank loan officer (Alison Lohman) who, through understandable yet poorly conceived judgment, denies a loan extension to the wrong old woman--chaos and hysteria result.
Without giving too much away (SPOILER ALERT), there is a turning-point scene involving a key prop--the story's McGuffin, if you will. In the film's rare moment of lazy storytelling, the characters mishandle the McGuffin in such a way that it screams, "Plot Point."
What's irritating about this moment is not only that it's so easy to see through it and understand how our heroine is going to get herself out of this mess, the sloppiness takes us out of the moment and reminds us that we're watching a movie. Up to that point I was involved in the story and, best of all, not sure where I would be led next.
Still, even a cheesy moment can't sink the film entirely. This is, after all, a horror film, and they usually contain around 60 or so cheesy moments per movie. "Drag Me To Hell," by that standard, ain't doing so bad.

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