Choke On It, Bitch! Drag Me to Hell: Collector's Edition (Scream Factory) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots




Studio: Scream Factory

Release Date: May 29th, 2009 (theatrical) / February 13th, 2018 (blu-ray)

Picture: 1080p (2.40:1 Aspect Ratio)

Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Adriana Barraza

Written by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi

Directed by Sam Raimi

Rated: PG-13 (sequences of horror violence, terror, disturbing images and language) / Unrated version contains more blood and violence.


THE FEATURES ⭐⭐⭐

Disc 1: Theatrical Version (1h 39m, HD)

Production Diaries (35m 9s, HD)

Vintage Interviews with Director Sam Raimi and Actors Alison Lohman and Justin Long (33m 37s, HD)

TV Spots (1m 34s, HD)

Theatrical Trailer (2m 12s, HD)


Disc 2: Unrated Version (1h 38m, HD)

To Hell and Back: An Interview with actress Alison Lohman (12m 36s, HD)

Curses! Lorna Raver Talks Drag Me to Hell (15m 58s, HD)

Hitting All the Right Notes: An Interview with composer Christopher Young (17m 10s, HD)

Still Gallery (2m 11s, HD)

The previous disc, released by Universal in 2009, had the Production Diaries as its lone special feature, so most of the features found here are new (or new to this release as some of the features can be found on discs from other countries). It is nice to have the film’s theatrical trailer on the disc (which should be a requirement for all films) and the Vintage Interviews are nice as well.

The big features are the ones that Scream made exclusively for this release. The interview with Alison Lohman is nice although she seems a little bit uncomfortable during the interview (she probably is a bit camera shy). The interview with Lorna Raver, who played Mrs. Ganush is nice as Raver looks or sounds nothing like her character and she seems very nice and happy to be in the film as well. The last interview, with composer Christopher Young, is good. Young is always game for talking about his craft and what inspires him. Would have liked to have seen or heard from Raimi (current not past), but what we have is still worth the watch.

THE PACKAGING ⭐⭐⭐1/2



Both discs are REGION A (locked)


THE PICTURE ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Scream Factory has given us brand new 2K transfers for both cuts of the film and they look great. Detail is amazing, colors pop, and blacks are deep. Everything looks great and I found nothing wrong with these transfers.


THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is a sound for sore ears (saying that played better in my head). To make a long story short: the track sounds amazing. Raimi uses the surrounds better than most directors and this track is proof of that. With everything going on onscreen, one might expect the sound design to become lazy or uninventive, but Raimi pulls it off. Dialogue is crisp and clear and the surrounds get a workout here. Nothing sounds lumped together.


THE FILM ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Christine Brown is a loans officer at a bank but is worried about her lot in life. She's in competition with a competent colleague for an assistant manager position and isn't too sure about her status with a boyfriend. Worried that her boss will think less of her if she shows weakness, she refuses a time extension on a loan to an old woman, Mrs. Ganush, who now faces foreclosure and the loss of her house. In retaliation, the old woman place a curse on her which, she subsequently learns, will result in her being taken to hell in a few days time. With the help of a psychic, she tries to rid herself of the demon, but faces several hurdles in the attempt. 

Drag Me to Hell was director Sam Raimi’s return to horror after leaving the genre to expand his filmography with the Spider-Man trilogy and A Simple Plan (among others) and he came back with a vengeance. Drag Me to Hell is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. While I hate using cliched sayings like that, it just happens to be true. From the moment Alison Lohman enters the parking structure the film doesn't let up. Lohman is put through hell (just like most actors that work with Raimi) and she works with it. Her performance is one of the best I have seen in a horror film in a long time. It is over the top, sure, but imagine being in her shoes and ask yourself how you would react to it. I would say that Lohman’s performance is up there with Marilyn Burns’ fearless performance in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

One of the biggest complaints that I have seen about the film is that the CGI  looks bad. While it is a bit underwhelming at times, I think that Raimi wanted it this way to remind us that this is a farce of sorts. None of this is even remotely real and the CGI was designed to accentuate that.

Another complaint was with the amount of jump scares throughout the film. Now, I am one who wants atmosphere and character over jump scares in a horror film, however, I think that Raimi wanted the film to be different from other horror films out in 2009. I know that jump scares are a big problem in horror films but I those films are made by committee. Drag Me to Hell is the product of one man's desire to scare the shit out of his audience and he does so by using every trick in the book. There are jump scares, false scare, creepy scares, funny scares, slow scares, fast scares. Basically, Raimi does everything he can to make sure that you got the most out of the film and would tell others to see it. It is a shame that the film gets lumped in with all the crap that came out around the same time because Raimi is, and always has been, an original filmmaker who works his ass off to give us films that we will not soon forget.

OVERALL ⭐⭐⭐1/2

Drag Me to Hell is an incredibly fun horror film that never once takes itself to seriously. The film wants you to have fun with Raimi laughing gleefully as his audience screams in terror and delight. If you were a naysayer before I would recommend you check the film out again. It is a helluva good time.

The blu-ray, from Scream Factory, is really nice. The picture quality is great and the film sounds amazing. The special features are nice, but it would have been nice to get Raimi on a commentary track or even a new interview. Still, this is the definitive version of the film and worth the money.


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