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film news

Sam Raimi decides to get Spooky for the younger crowd

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Friday, October 2, 2009

If it's good enough for Guillermo del Toro and Walt Disney Pictures, it's good enough for Sam Raimi and Columbia. The director and his producing partner Robert Tapert are forming an imprint of Ghost House Pictures called Spooky Pictures that will make scary movies for family audiences.

First up for Spooky will be a remake of a Danish movie called The Substitute, about a bunch of sixth graders that find out their new teacher is really a bad alien. The movie will be directed by Scott Derrickson (The Day the Earth Stood Still remake) and is being written by the director and Paul Harris Boardman.

Raimi's new venture comes less than one month after Disney and del Toro announced their partnership to make thrillers and chillers targeted at the younger age group.

-Variety.
mckracken
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Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

well for the record, DRAG ME TO HELL sucked ass Raimi...your new stuff SHOULD pander to the lowest common denominator...because its cheap and uses all the same recycled gags from 1981's Evil Dead.

kiddie horror flicks... yeah, whatever. wake me up when you pull your head out of your ass, dude.

mckracken
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Posts: 965
Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

I so used to like Sam Raimi too.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

Most people were of the opinion that Drag Me to Hell was classic Raimi. What about it sucked ass to you?

mckracken
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Posts: 965
Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

He tried Goiter... he really did. it became apparant that he's moved on and even trying to recreate his "classic" look and feel the soul of the movie just wasnt there. Dare I say its almost a one trick pony that ends with the predictable title of the movie... yes... thats like retitling Evil Dead "everyone dies in the woods by demons" its just that it tried so hard to recreate EVIL DEAD and yet even the director couldnt recreate the magic.

also there was no Bruce Campbell... instead we get a predictable dumb blonde chick and her annoying iboyfriend (the mac commercial guy), a gypsy and a dick-of-a real-estate office manager...

it just didnt work.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

I don't think she was a predictable dumb, blond chick. Instead, she's a collapsing of the two classic horror victim mainstays: she's both the put-upon "good" girl and the recipient of a (seemingly unwarranted) comeuppance. If you grew up watching The Twilight Zone and reading EC horror and crime comics, you got to see both of these characters pretty routinely.

Usually, but not always, the good, virtuous person who is put upon comes out on top--often by virtue of goodness/chastity/et cetera. (Consider Snow White, or maybe even the Jamie Lee Curtis character in Halloween.) The "comeuppance" scenario usually involves someone who has committed a heinous crime (typically murder) who gets what s/he gave or worse. If the person is redeemable, then s/he will learn a lesson, and will sometimes be spared the fate that awaited her/him if s/he had not seen the light. Examples of characters who learn/become rounded and are spared miserable fates are The Beauty and the Beast's Beast and Ebenezer Scrooge.

Lohman's character starts out seeming to be the good, put upon character. She's trying to make her way in the world, and we can sympathize with her. Like the prince who becomes the Beast, though, she is faced with a choice, and arguably makes the wrong one. Of course, with the Beast, the magic with which he is punished is a good magic, and his deed is more clearly wrong. For Lohman's character, however, it only gets interesting when she starts reacting to her curse. It draws something out of her we don't normally see drawn out of the good, put-upon woman: evil. We learn that, deep down, she's pretty nasty. We still sympathize with her, because she's likable. We also see in her something we don't usually see in characters in her position: something of ourselves. She's as ugly deep down as we know ourselves to be, so it's easy for us to give ourselves over to rooting for her, since we are, in effect, rooting for ourselves.

The shock scares are typical shock scares, but they are relied upon less than movies that only rely upon them. The whole movie isn't passed through a blue filter like all the other horror films of the post-Asian horror invasion era. We get oozy browns, greens, yellows, reds. We get a cursing, puppet goat. How about that? We get a fucking puppet for a change. It could have been CGI. We also get an evil unseen for most of the movie, and the movie nerd community has unanimously declared evils unseen to be the way to go for effective horror. The original Cat People, Jaws, Alien--these are movies horror buffs constantly champion as ones that "get it right," and Drag Me to Hell continues in their tradition.

Where having her dragged down to Hell is concerned, I really don't see where its being in the title is a problem. We are told earlier on that she either will be or she won't be, and things happen along the way to lead us to believe both that she might be able to get out of it, or might not. Sometimes movie characters in similar situations do get out of it, sometimes they do not. I'd say they do three-quarters of the time (that's a guess, and not a real stat), but there are usually only two choices, so neither should be all that much of a surprise. Since the primary concern of the movie is whether or not she will be dragged to Hell, I don't feel that naming it that is good or bad. They could just have easily named it Don't Drag Me to Hell. Chances are, if she had not been dragged to Hell in a Faustian fit of thrashing and screaming, folks would complain that the heroine almost never gets dragged to Hell.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

The last time Raimi worked with Bruce Campbell was Spider-Man 3. Just because they're working together doesn't mean it's going to be cinematic gold.

Calling Justin Long's character "annoying iBoyfriend (the Mac commercial guy)" suggests to me that you are holding his being the Mac commercial guy against him. He's been in a lot of stuff, and has surprised me more than once with his willingness to go "out there." He's probably the only reason to watch the nearly unwatchable Strange Wilderness (well, the dubbed shark footage is pretty funny), and he has a nice cameo in Zack and Miri Make a Porno. I don't think he should be condemned for agreeing to make a buck or two peddling Macs. That said, his role in Drag Me to Hell (by the way, there are still places down south that are skittish about putting movie titles with Hell in them on a marquee, so kudos to Raimi for making Alabama and Mississippi theaters use the word "Hell" in advertising that doesn't exist for the sole purpose of telling me where I am going for living an un-righteous life) is a thankless one: he's simply the supportive boyfriend. The movie isn't about their relationship, though, so it's not like he (or anyone else who might have filled that role) ruins the movie by being in it. He's there to be slightly put off, but to stand by her as she seems (to the outside world, at least) to be slipping deeper and deeper into insanity.

* * *

For me, Drag Me to Hell didn't not work. It was grotesque, it was funny, and it made me feel like I was back in the eighties. It was like watching old Roseanne Barr stand up, or an episode of Married with Children.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

It sometimes takes being put through the wringer for a person's true character to be revealed. For some reason, I like it more when that true character is revealed to be unpleasant.

mrbear
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Posts: 39
Posted: 9 years 41 weeks ago

i thought it was classically boring....it did suck big time ass