Written by Luke Barnes
I remember watching this years ago and at the time thinking it to be quite frightening, however, upon watching it again now it really isn’t, and if anything the more overt comedy elements go out of their way to take away any genuine fear from the proceedings.
Likewise the use of practical effects and gross out scenes become a double edged sword within the film, as they both add an element of realness and grimness to the film which does enhance it to a degree, but also often look quite bad by modern standards almost to a humorous degree. Scenes such as when the lead goes to the wake and has the corpse leak fluid into her mouth a few times are funny, however this takes away from the threat and fear of the film.
I have written about this several times, the key to creating a good comedy horror film is to allow the film to be both scary and funny throughout the film without favouring one over the other. The issue here is that clearly Raimi has favoured the comedy over the horror.
I think the premise of the film is strong, if a little reliant on outdated cliches, and the idea of being dragged to hell in a number of days is a terrifying concept. I found it evoking of films like The Ring wherein our protagonist has to desperately hunt down a mystery way to free themselves from the situation often for it not to work out the way they hoped, highlighting the futility of the struggle: the ending of this film is very reflective of this concept.
Overall, Raimi has an interesting premise here but loses any real scares to indulge in a juvenile sense of humour.
The practical effects are horribly dated
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