If you're a fan of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy, you'll know what to expect here. It's scary, funny (sometimes silly), gross, over-the-top, and no-holds-barred. Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer vying for assistant manager against Stu (Reggie Lee). And when her boss Mr. Jacks (David Paymer) tells her new guy Stu is doing well because of his persistent attitude, she tried to pick up a take-no-prisoners view herself. Unfortunately, the first customer to show up as soon as this happens is elderly Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) who is about to be evicted from her home and has already pulled two loans. Christine tries to impress her boss and refuses to give the old woman the loan, which only results in a very upset old gypsy woman. Mrs. Ganush places a curse on Christine that spans three days, everyday getting stronger. And after the third day, the Lamia (a goat demon) will show and drag her to Hell for all eternity. So she must work together with her boyfriend Clay (Justin Long) and psychic Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) to try and stop it before the three days are up.

My first reaction? How the heck is this movie only PG13? It feels way too intense for that. With the exception of hard language, it's really up there with the Evil Dead trilogy. It has some of the serious horror and creepiness of the first, the slapstick of the second, and the gross-out of the third. Though sometimes it did take it a bit far. And I don't mean in the no-holds-barred way. But for instance, the "anvil" scene. That just didn't work for me. It's a great idea, and probably brilliant on paper, but I feel the execution is something that could have only worked in the 80s and with Bruce Campbell involved (it's something where the facial expressions or a snappy one-liner would have come in handy).

The beginning of the movie is slow, but not in a bad way. Though at this point, you're really not sure what you're getting into. At first, it really feels like a serious horror movie (despite the stupid laughing teenage girls in the back of the theater). And it really takes a bit to find its tone of horror/comedy. At first it eases the comedy into it, and it's sprinkled here and there. But as it goes on, it really mixes it in. And it's honestly a perfect mixture. This is not a horror movie to take 100% seriously. And if you've seen the Evil Dead films, you should already know that.

There's not really any gore. There's only one scene with blood that really sticks in my mind (a nosebleed scene that's so over-the-top, only Sam Raimi could pull it off). But there are plenty of other bodily fluids for a plethora of gross-out moments. In fact, Sam Raimi goes old school. Much like the first Evil Dead film, he attempts what others seem to forget: wind, shadows, and creaks can be much more terrifying than anything else. Scares are in the anticipation. Don't get me wrong, the movie has it's jump-scares, but they're equally balanced with the old school horror. I would go as far as saying that Raimi did what M. Night Shyamalan couldn't do recently: he made wind scary.

The movie is decently acted, as well. Lorna Raver plays a very creepy old woman very well. And Justin Long plays the sweetheart boyfriend very well. Dileep Rao is fun as the psychic, too. And it's always a joy to see David Paymer. But, of course, the real joy was (the gorgeous) Alison Lohman. She could play it serious, and she could play it funny. There were a few parts where it seemed she tried a bit hard to be a badass, which just made it funny than anything. But then again, that was probably the intention.

Otherwise, there were some questionable CGI effects, but I didn't really mind that much. The Evil Dead films were the same way (regardless of being made back in the day). And all of that, along with the cheesy/creepy music and the fill-up-the-screen title, I feel this was more of a throw back to classic horror than anything. The film isn't without its flaws, but they're few and far between. This is a horror/comedy for the books, and Sam Raimi is back at the top of his game.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. This is a very strong 'Whoa').


  1. Agreed. I loved the nosebleed sequence, and holy crap is Lohman beautiful, and not only that, but she did an above adequate job conveying all her various emotions. Yes, indeed, there were some over-the-top moments (I'm mainly thinking about the dead body of the old woman and all the green liquid/saliva/whatev come out of her mouth), but it was fun.... And great comment about making the wind scary - whenever Lohman was in her house and everything started going berserk, damn, that was more freaky than most of the stuff at the end.

    Great review, Nick!

  2. I agree... the house sequence was freaky, and you never see anything.

    As for the green stuff, I believe that was embalming fluid. In fact, most of the gross-out humor game from the old woman (I love when she 'gums' her in the car).

  3. You know it's customer, not costumer? Unless she's serving people in disguises. :P

  4. I didn't edit the review before posting it. So sue me. No need to be a smartass about it.

  5. Ummm... sorry? I was kidding. It was a good review, LT. I was just amused, no need to be so sensitive.

  6. Kidding or not (and I know you were), anything critical you tend to say rubs me the wrong way from, well, all the time I put up with it before (and if I'm being honest here, just seeing that you've commented makes me nervous every time, no matter what it is you say).

    But mostly, I've just had a really effed up last couple days, and your comment was coming right on the tail end of it (and about one of the only high points of said days).


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