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Ellen Page Starring in Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell

by
February 9, 2008
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Ellen Page

In December we brought you the news that Sam Raimi officially would be making a low-budget horror movie titled Drag Me to Hell before he went on to anything else. For those unsatisfied with Spider-Man 3, this is Raimi's chance to go back to his roots and show us that he is still a great director, despite what might have happened with that movie. Now one of the best things that ever could happen has happened - Juno star Ellen Page has been cast as the lead in the film. To top that off, Universal Pictures has acquired the rights for distribution and the film is going into production starting on March 17th in Los Angeles.

Sam Raimi wrote the script for Drag Me to Hell with his brother Ivan quite a while ago under the title The Curse, and it was finished after they made Army of Darkness back in 1992. He's been sitting on this script that probably has immense inspiration from Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, since he wrote it while making those movies, and is just now starting to film it. While no budget has been explicitly specified, it is being referred to as low-budget, meaning I'm sure it'll be very much in the same vein as Evil Dead and Army of Darkness.

As for the plot, not much has been revealed. The most that anyone has said is that it is a "morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse", and I'm guessing that recipient is now Ellen Page. Ghost House co-founder Rob Tapert also says that "Sam calls it a 'spook-a-blast,' a wild ride with all the chills and spills that 'Evil Dead' delivered, without relying on the excessive violence of that film." I don't mind that much that it doesn't have the same "excessive violence" as Evil Dead as long as Raimi creates a movie that is reminiscent of his classic horror trio.

I guarantee you we will be following almost everything that happens with Drag Me to Hell as it goes into production in March. Not only am I a huge Army of Darkness / Evil Dead fan, not only am I a huge Sam Raimi fan, but I'm also a huge Ellen Page fan. It's three of the best things ever all crammed into one and I can't wait to see what Raimi has cooked up!!

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  • Spider
    I can't wait to see what Sam Raimi cooked up either. This is real good, considering he could've helmed "The Hobbit", which eventually went to Guillermo del Toro. Things worked out well with each director doing their specific genre of choice. Ellen Page, riding the wave to superstardom, is an excellent choice to headline "Drag Me to Hell". She was great in "Hard Candy" and I'm still looking forward to seeing, "Juno".
  • cornholio_by_the_sea
    sounds cool...be neat if Bruce Campbell made a cameo or had a major role in it...some of the best horror/comedy ever made...I will be waiting to hear more....
  • Brad
    Ellen Page in a horror movie? Interesting. It's a pity i've yet to see a single horror movie that offered anything genuinely suspensful and scary without dissolving into the dreary realm of using gore for shock scares or horribly cliched stories and techniques. The Omen (original) came kinda close, but still. Heh, as you might have guessed i'm not a fan of horror, but I am a small fan of Ellen Page. I'm not even a fan of Sam Raimi, though I can sit down and (mindlessly) enjoy the Spiderman flicks.
  • http://www.zengrrl.com Zengrrl
    I'm with you... I'm so freakin' excited by this pairing of Raimi and Page. I love just about everything either has done AND you throw in the horror aspect?? I am SO there! I agree though...needs Campbell in at least a cameo, which is entirely likely given it's Raimi at the helm. You just made my day with this news. Thanks!
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    Brad, what about Evil Dead I or II or Army of Darkness? That is the exact kind of horror we're speaking of when we reference this movie that Ellen Page is in and Sam Raimi is directing. Have you seen either of those? They're hardly horror, at least by today's definition - and I am certain you'll find something unique about them, albeit campy enjoyment. I strongly urge you to check them out, they're in a genre of their own...
  • Brad
    Alex, I think i've seen the first two, though it would've been a long time ago. Now I know they're not strictly horror films, but I think they still they fit the whole 'pointless splatterfest' thing. It's a personal belief of mine that the horror (even horror comedy) genre has a long way to go. It's kind of a vague example, but the early scene in I Am Legend where Neville chases Sam into the pitch black building and encounters the Dark Seekers is the type of horror/suspense I can enjoy (strongly acting-orientated). I was literally on the edge of my seat through all that. Gore needs a very good purpose to be present in films, in my opinion (I'm thinking Black Hawk Down and to some extent, Saving Private Ryan). But, it's all just an opinion...
  • http://www.feoamante.com Feo Amante
    Hey Alex, you have me curious now. What about Evil Dead would not be considered Horror by today's definition? And what current movies do you think define today's Horror?
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    Well, okay, I was really referring to the second Evil Dead and Army of Darkness more than the first Evil Dead in regards to horror. I was responding to what Brad said specifically - "genuinely suspenseful and scary without dissolving into the dreary realm of using gore for shock scares or horribly cliched stories and techniques". I think the horror genre specifically, at least when people think of it, is something that either has gore or uses some sort of scares or thrills or dark moments or "pop out" scares or monsters or things like that. It's when they're trying to really scare you and use suspense and thrills to make you feel uneasy. Examples of this are below. With Evil Dead and more with Army of Darkness, I feel like those movies are more adventure/dramas that use some "scary" elements like skeletons and weird zombies and freaky people and a lot of comedy more than anything. I would describe the second Evil Dead and Army of Darkness first as an adventure/drama/comedy before saying horror. Horror is something that doesn't make you smile or laugh or enjoy it, but rather really is trying to scare and thrill you. Examples of what I could call real horror movies these days are the Saw series, The Eye, The Ruins, Shutter, Midnight Meat Train, sadly Prom Night, and from 2007, movies like 1408, 30 Days of Night, The Mist, Halloween, Dead Silence, etc. You see none of those are adventures, none of those have any bit of comedy or anything. Those are real straight horror movies way more than Evil Dead or Army of Darkness.
  • http://www.feoamante.com Feo Amante
    Gotcha. Yeah, I agree about EVIL DEAD II and ARMY OF DARKNESS, though when Raimi and crew made EVIL DEAD, they specifically set out to make "Grueling Horror". They must have done something right because they impressed the hell out of all of us Horror fans including Stephen King (He's this writer-guy we Horror Thriller fans adore. Not much to look at, but VERY Horrifying, Thrilling work!). That was a very good eclectic mix of Horror Thriller movies you put in the list of modern. Everything from the best (SAW, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT) to DEAD SILENCE (E-freakin' GAD!). But reconsider 1408 (That King guy I was telling you about) when you talk about "adventure" Horror movies. Ol' Mike Enslin was subjected to desert heat, high altitudes, a week at the beach, a blizzard, even a storm tossed ship at sea! And you can have adventure in your Horror. Even if you choose to ignore the entire freaking DARK TOWER series of books (King again, but when you are talking about this guy's books, hey, you know it's only a matter of time before someone shoots them), there is THE STAND, DREAMCATCHER, FIRESTARTER, etc. And this is how Horror Thrillers began. Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN traversed the globe and ended in the Antarctic. Bram Stoker's DRACULA begins with the European travelogue of Jonathon Harker and ends with a protracted chase from Carfax Abbey all the way back to Transylvania. THE MUMMY (originally wrote by Bram again) had the bandaged zombie going from Egypt to England. Lovecraft had his protagonists travelling from New England to New Orleans to the Mountains of Madness and even to Mars! Horror has never been limited to some maniac or monster's little piece of real estate. Even in modern times, RINGU had Reiko running all over the Japanese islands to solve a mystery on the clock. THE EYE had Wong traveling all over Hong Kong and then Asia to discover the source of her power. From its beginings to the present, Horror Thrillers and adventure go hand in hand.

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