DRAG ME TO HELL

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JacksonArcher, May 28, 2009.

  1. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    This island Earth
    Well all the Evil Dead movies have that Happy ending that actually makes things worse thing going on.
     
  2. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    I'd agree that it wasn't a truly typical horor ending. Not every horror film ends with the heroes dying/losing...it's probably fifty fifty...

    The ending did surprise me in one respect, I half expected Justin Long to get dragged to hell!

    I guess it does fit in with the EC comics/Tales of the crypt style vibe which the film also had...I am hoping for a sequel where Long goes to hell to get her back!
     
  3. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pingfah
    **Spoilers ahead, but most people have given it all away already.**

    I suppose it is similar to the ending of the first Evil Dead movie in that the hero believes he/she has survived and then gets taken out at the last moment.

    People tend to forget that happened at the end of the first one because Ash was shown to have survived in Evil Dead 2, but I do think Raimi intended to imply his at least very possible death in the first movie.
     
  4. Newski

    Newski Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago

    Yeah, but it doesn't have the sense of "Just Deserts" that EC comics had..... Especially since the hero managed to come to terms with what she did wrong, and tried to make it right.
     
  5. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    This island Earth
    Yeah, and then in the second one gets sucked through and survives, but then becomes a slave (although he is hailed as a hero in ED2) and in the third one thinks he's going home and ends up in a ruined future. So bad to worse in each case.
    But yeah, not truly a "typical" horror ending.
     
  6. Thrall

    Thrall Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    A Quesada Free Zone.
    Sam Raimi is a sick fuck. And I mean that in the good way. The twist ending was clever, though the eventual outcome was a typical horror movie ending. A decent matinee movie. Nothing special about it, but nothing awful.
     
  7. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    Yeah, she didn't really deserve her fate, although she wasn't completely innocent...poor kitty!
     
  8. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind enemy lines
    Depends on the ending for 3...there are two (never sure which is which)
     
  9. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    That's it? That's the parallel? Somebody gets cursed, and dies--so that makes them exactly the same?

    Sounds to me like you're setting the bar for originality pretty high.

    By that kind of reasoning, just about every horror movie ever made is derivative and predictable.

    Does a movie have a vampire in it? "Yawn--Bram Stoker did vampires back in 1897, with his novel Dracula. Can't anybody think of anything new?"

    Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't.

    Out of the twenty-nine movies in my collection, nine end with everyone dead, or doomed to die. In twenty of them, some or all of the protagonists survive. In other words, "untypical" endings outnumber "typical" endings by more than two to one.

    I suppose it's possible that my collection is unrepresentative. But it's also possible that your claims just aren't true.

    In any case, by your reasoning, a classic like The Omen is just "conventional horror crap" because, well, evil triumphed, and everybody died.

    Did the cops shoot Ambassador Thorn before he could kill Damien? Yawn--how predictable.

    That final smile in the graveyard? Boring. Evil triumphed...again. Didn't anybody have any new ideas, even back in the 70s?

    It also wasn't an "ending". It was a cliffhanger for a third season that never got made.

    It was also an episode in a television series, rather than a movie, so you're comparing apples and oranges in more ways than one.

    You mean, like in The Thing or Night of the Living Dead or Return of the Living Dead or Angel Heart or Funny Games?

    Yeah, what shitty movies. I mean--everybody died. How conventional.

    I don't see any reason for you to insult me just because I disagree with you. I'll let the moderators decide if that was a flame or not.
     
  10. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    This island Earth
    I thought the second "He gets home and blows the head of a demon at S-Mart" ending was DVD only?
     
  11. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    No, I'm pretty sure that was the theatrical ending.
     
  12. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    This island Earth
    Maybe Europe always had the "alternate" ending then, because I remember that being the first version I saw.
     
  13. Newski

    Newski Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago

    I'll insult people not because of their opinion,but I will criticize them for not seeing something that is very clear from the beginning. If I say 2 plus 2 is seven, will you call me an idiot or willy you respect my right to believe it?


    What makes a movie "Original" is how it differs from similar stories. Essentially, the movie followed the exact same structure as Thinner. Not all Vampire films follow the same structure as Dracula. With you logic, I should bitch about how much of a ripoff of "Carmilla" Dracula is.

    And yes, this IS the conventional ending.... For Christ's sake, Thinner, The Grudge, ect....

    What makes end twists work is that we don't see them coming, or that they are bold. Or maybe their is actually a point to it other then a cheap scare. The Omen's ending worked. First of all, it wasn't unexpected. Also, the point of the movie wasn't about "killing Damien". It was about his rise. Drag Me to hell is about somebody fighting a curse.

    Night of the Living Dead worked because our Hero actually survived the night... And was killed not by Zombies, but by a human menace. The Thing worked because the creature was destroyed... PROBABLY... But even if it was, they were fighting their own paranoia at that point. That was poignant.
     
  14. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    Not? You just did exactly that.

    You accused me of being too stupid to graduate from high school because I didn't foresee Drag Me To Hell's twist ending, and disagreed with you about its typicality.

    Not only did you insult my intelligence, you did so without even reading my posts very closely.

    I expected the heroine to get dragged to hell. I just didn't foresee the exact nature of the mistake she made.

    Insult them, you mean.

    Emphasis added.

    I wouldn't know. I've never encountered anyone who tried to tell me that 2+2=7. And not foreseeing the exact nature of a movie's twist ending is hardly the same thing. Once again, you're comparing apples to oranges.

    I also notice that you've once again cast aspersions on my intelligence, by implying that I'm some kind of idiot who can't add two and two.

    I would never call someone an idiot because they didn't have every detail of a movie's ending figured out from the start. But that's just me.

    That is a half-truth, at best.

    All stories within a single genre are essentially the same, and rely on that similarity for their appeal.

    A detective story, for example, features a detective, and a mystery, and follows the detective as he or she solves the mystery. A romance story features a heroine, and a hero, and follows the heroine as she falls in love with the hero. And so on.

    Compared to these essential similarities, the differences within a genre are pretty minor. Genre storytelling is the art of inventing new variations on a familiar theme. Too much originality is frowned upon, particularly by audiences, who essentially want to hear the same story again and again.

    What is more, your definition pretends that originality is something absolute--an independent variable--when in fact it's a completely relative dependent variable. What may seem wildly original to one audience may seem boringly familiar to another, depending on the number of stories they've read or watched.

    To use just one example: when I saw Star Wars for the first time, as a boy, in 1977, I was entranced; I'd never seen anything like it. My Dad, on the other hand, was bored. He'd seen it all before, in the sci-fi serials he'd watched when he was a boy.

    To use another example:

    Did it? I wouldn't know. I never saw Thinner. I didn't read the book, either. Stephen King's novels bore me.

    Perhaps if I'd seen it, I'd be just as outraged as you seem to be, and just as contemptuous of anyone who disagreed with me.

    But I didn't. Neither did most people, I expect. So what may seem typical to you, based on your own partial experience, may not seem typical at all to others, based on their equally partial experience.

    Maybe you should keep that in mind before you start calling other people idiots.

    Don't put words in my mouth. Either stand by your original position, or admit that you've changed it.

    You said nothing about story structure in the post I quoted. What you said was that Thinner and Drag Me to Hell were essentially the same movies because they both featured someone who was cursed by a gypsy, and died. Full stop.

    "Etc" isn't a movie. At least, I've never seen a movie with that title.

    You've provided exactly two examples here--and one of them doesn't even fit your argument. Sarah Michelle Gellar's character does not die at the end of The Grudge.

    So, you've really got just one example to support your case. Where I come from, that's called a "hasty generalization." As the old saying puts it, "one swallow does not a summer make."

    Now, it is true that many horror movies end with a final shock, which can seem (and often is) gratuitous--especially if the filmmaker wants to leave room for a sequel. A Nightmare on Elm Street ended with Freddy's return in a final nightmare sequence.

    But the ending of Drag Me to Hell was not a gratuitous final "Boo! See part two!" It was, arguably, the story's natural and logical conclusion.

    Christine Brown was faced with a moral choice, and chose not to show compassion, for purely selfish reasons. And in the end, having sown the wind, she reaped the whirlwind: having shown no compassion, no compassion was shown to her; all her efforts to escape responsibility for her own actions were in vain. Any other ending would have betrayed the movie's moral logic.

    This is not much of an argument.

    You list three preconditions for a succesful twist ending. Then you admit that The Omen doesn't meet one of these preconditions. Then you start talking about something else.

    In fact, both The Omen and Drag Me to Hell explore some of the same themes. In both movies, the protagonists make the wrong moral choice, for seemingly good reasons. In the case of The Omen, Thorn tries to spare his wife the grief of a stillbirth by lying to her, by switching another baby for her own, and pretending that nothing happened. And in both movies, the protagonists are destroyed by the consequences of these decisions, despite their efforts to cheat fate.

    This is all very interesting, but once again, doesn't prove anything.

    What you actually said was:

    On the one hand, that is not an accurate description of Drag Me to Hell's ending, which I think I've demonstrated here. You were so impressed by your own cleverness at figuring out the twist that you missed just how appropriate that ending was, both dramatically and thematically.

    On the other hand: the movies I listed all fit that description quite well. In fact, Night of the Living Dead's ending was effective and shocking precisely because, as you put it, the movie said "Haha hero dies bad guy wins."

    Ben died, in the end, because he made all the wrong decisions, got everybody killed, and survived the night only by retreating to the cellar, as Mr. Cooper had suggested. The bad guys won--because of Ben.

    Ben didn't deserve to survive--though the movie does its best to obscure this fact, by making Ben handsome and sympathetic (and black), and by making his antagonist, Mr. Cooper, weaselly and unsympathetic. And in the end, Ben suffers the fate he does deserve. The bullet he takes to the head is the audience's moral wake-up call.

    Drag Me to Hell ends with a similar moral wake-up call. But I guess you slept through it. Perhaps you were too busy congratulating yourself for figuring out Raimi's foreshadowing.
     
  15. Newski

    Newski Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago

    I'm done. The moment you start talking as if Drag Me to Hell is somehow an intellectual film, it's "Game Over".
     
  16. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pingfah
    It has an intellectual component, to think otherwise is to seriously underestimate the film and it's creator :vulcan:
     
  17. Newski

    Newski Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago

    Oh, I know that. The punishment should still fit the crime, and that's one of the movies weakpoints.
     
  18. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Location:
    This island Earth
    What do you mean, it's a horror film, how could it possible have any intellectual components, horrors are all about over the top gore and crappy story...
     
  19. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Location:
    On my ship the Rocinante
    Whoa, there...... you and Camelopard clearly have differing opinions on the film, as proven by your exchanges after this post. Regardless, there's no reason for you to take such an insulting tone. One that borders on flaming/trolling.
     
  20. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    The Fifth Dimension
    ^Thank you.

    I never said Drag Me to Hell was an intellectual film.

    I never said that about any of the films I mentioned.

    Once again, you're putting words in my mouth.

    If you think that a film has to be "intellectual" to have a theme, then you have no business debating film in the first place.
     

Share This Page