Highlights and Fangoria subscribers unite! The last weekend in May brings two movies to theaters: One to scare the life out of you; one to make you feel like a kid again. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
Drag Me to Hell
What’s the story: After spending the better part of the last decade caught in the web of the Spider-Man franchise, director Sam Raimi returns to his low-budget horror roots with Drag Me to Hell, an old-fashioned schlocky horror film that appears to be heavy on both scares and fun. Alison Lohman—looking more and more like Jessica Lange with each passing movie—stars as an ambitious bank officer who makes the decision to deny an old gypsy a loan. Big mistake. Before you can say “whip zoom,” a curse is levied and the gates of hell are open for business. Drag Me to Hell has gotten some of the best reviews of the summer (though our Rex Reed wasn’t a fan) and could be one of the sleeper hits of the season. At the very least, horror fans tired of seeing posers like Eli Roth dominate the genre should welcome Mr. Raimi’s return.
Who should see it: All Bank of America employees.
What’s the story: What is it about Pixar movies that make critics go so gaga? Up is the studios 10th picture, and, as usual, the reviews are breathlessly hyperbolic to an almost annoying degree (the lone exception obviously being Armond White). According to Rotten Tomatoes, Up has a higher Fresh rating than even Wall*E, which, if memory serves, was already hailed as the greatest Pixar movie ever. Which begs the question: Does that make Up the greatest greatest Pixar movie ever? That irritation aside, we have to give Pixar credit for being the only film company that could possibly make a kids movie out of the premise of Gran Torino: Up focuses on a 78-year-old widower named Carl Fredrickson (voiced by Ed Asner) who attaches hundreds of balloons to his house and floats off to a distant jungle for some alone time, only to wind up as steward to an 8-year-old stowaway. Note to parents: This film is in 3-D, so expect to have your senses overloaded.
Who should see it: Clint Eastwood.