With Drag Me to Hell, many fans of the director Sam Raimi were pleased with his return to horror. One, however, could argue that he never really directed “horror” movies. His “horror” movies, such as Evil Dead and Drag Me to Hell are also known for being funny, while the director still seemed at home with movies like Spiderman.
On paper, Evil Dead seems horrific. It is about a group staying in the woods who become possessed by demons after reading from The Book of the Dead. However, in execution, the movie actually has some very funny moments. The sequels to the movie, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness moved even further away from the horror genre and were much closer to straight comedies, with the latter taking the main character of the franchise back in time to Medieval England.
Drag Me to Hell also seems scarier on paper. It’s about a woman who wrongs a gypsy and is cursed to be dragged to hell. However, this horror-comedy is compared to Tales from the Crypt by Rotten Tomatoes. Tales from the Crypt was a show that was equal parts funny to scary. It’s also a bit like The Little Shop of Horrors (not the musical), only darker, in which the main character’s avoidable actions caused the character to bring the curse upon herself.
Sam Raimi is probably more famous for Spiderman, which was a blockbuster hit. Though some fans noticed that the movie’s chronology did not match the comic books, the movie was generally well-received. This action-adventure movie had a lovable character who was just trying to find himself after being bitten by a radioactive spider.
I happen to like Spiderman more. While I am a fan of horror-comedy, and even less a fan of action-adventure, Spiderman just has more to offer. I just felt more personally attached to Peter Parker than I did Ash or Christine. However, this may have more to do with the characters than how the films were directed. I still argue that Raimi’s horror movies were not straight horror movies, and so I wouldn’t classify him as directing such.
Rotten Tomatoes rates both Spiderman and Drag Me to Hell “certified fresh”. While on this site Evil Dead has a 100% fresh rating, it does not have enough votes to be “certified fresh”. Some may refer to Raimi as a horror-director, but his strengths do not seem to lie in pure horror. It doesn’t make him any less of a good director.
Drag Me to Hell Rotten Tomatoes.
The Evil Dead Rotten Tomatoes.
Spiderman Rotten Tomatoes.