When I first started getting information about this film I immediately crossed it off my list. I’m too old for movies like that. I have three young children, my days are scary enough just going through the laundry hamper. Then early reports started categorizing the film as ‘suspense’ rather than ‘horror,’ and what’s more it was receiving startlingly good reviews, no pun intended. So I rethought it. Sam Raimi directed it. He directed Spiderman. How scary could the director of Spiderman make a movie? What I didn’t realize is that he also directed The Evil Dead, possibly the most nightmare-inducing two hours of my childhood. So, to answer the question: really freaking scary.
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious loan officer gunning for a promotion from her by-the-book boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer). When an old gypsy woman, Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) comes to her desk begging for a third extension on her mortgage, the normally sympathetic Christine sees an opportunity to impress her boss and turns the woman down. Now this is where the movie immediately misses the mark. If ever there was a one-eyed, curse-wielding gypsy you would continue to grant extensions to, it is this woman. Nevertheless, Christine remains firm. Bet you can’t guess what happens next. If you said Mrs. Ganush puts a supernatural curse on Christine that torments her for three days before, eh hem, dragging her to Hell, give yourself a gold star.
Now, as I mentioned, horror films are not my bag, however, this film demonstrates remarkable originality for a notoriously derivative genre. There is a scene, for example, where a fly enters the bedroom while Christine is sleeping. The fly buzzes in through the window then lands directly on the camera lens before coming fully into focus, innovative camera work. So if you are a horror film buff, this is a must-see: enjoy. Me, I’ll stay home and watch Pretty Woman on Lifetime. It’s a horror 8.