Sam Raimi brings comedy-laden horror to Cannes

Thu May 21, 2009 10:55am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Aspiring bank managers beware -- refusing loans to frail old ladies could unleash a deadly curse that haunts you for eternity.

That, at least, is the premise of "Drag Me to Hell," a horror movie by U.S. director Sam Raimi who made the hugely successful Spider-Man movies and, before them, "The Evil Dead."

Screening out of competition at the Cannes film festival, the movie laces a classic curse story with humor, and had audiences laughing as much as jumping at a press screening.

Raimi said mixing comedy and fear was like a game of checkers, and the outcome has delighted critics.

"Mixing different modes of horror story-telling with dark touches of humor, Raimi proves here that gore isn't necessary for a cathartic horror-thrill ride," Screen International said.

Raimi said making Drag Me to Hell was a welcome change from the big-budget, blockbuster Spider-Man series which he is due to reprise soon.

The first three movies in the franchise made around $2.5 billion in global ticket sales, according to tracking website

"It's been great to work on Drag Me to Hell, because there's a very small cast," he told reporters in Cannes on Thursday.   Continued...

<p>U.S director Sam Raimi (L) poses with cast members Alison Lhoman (C), and Justin Long (R) during a photo call for the film "Drag Me To Hell" at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, May 21, 2009. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>