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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
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The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

‘Hell’ is a frightening and fun-filled film

When it was announced that Sam Raimi was taking a break from the “Spider-Man” films and was returning to his roots with a new horror film, gore hounds around the world cheered. When it was announced the film would be rated PG-13, those same fans let out a collective sigh. That sigh, it turns out, was all in vain, as “Drag Me to Hell” remains a pure Raimi film and as much fun as any of the “Evil Dead” films.

Christine Brown (Lohman) is vying for the position of assistant manager with Stu Rubin, fellow bank employee. When Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver), an old gypsy woman with a glass eye, comes to the bank asking for a third extension on her mortgage payment, Christine decides to take matters into her own hands and prove she’s capable of making the tough decisions. She informs Ganush that another extension is out of the question. Ganush begs, but it is to no avail, as Christine calls security to have her thrown out of the building. Later that day, Christine is walking to her car and is attacked and cursed by Ganush. With only three days to prevent her soul from being taken to Hell, Christine goes on a frantic search for the cure to the curse.

To star in a Sam Raimi horror film one must leave all pretensions at the door and, thankfully, Lohman has. She is excellent as the film’s protagonist and knows exactly what movie she is in. Lohman is basically just the female version of Bruce Campbell (star of

“The Evil Dead” films) and she shines all the way through. She is both sweet and tough at the same time. One of the pleasures of watching her performance is her reaction and cover -up story as to what happened with her cat, as well as her fight scene with Raver, who plays the evil gypsy perfectly and with conviction. Justin Long provides emotional support and is the supposed voice of reason within the film. His character is completely likeable.

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Here’s what makes “Hell” so much better than your average PG-13 horror film. Remember all those jokes from the “Evil Dead” movies? Like the ol’ eyeball in the mouth gag? Yeah, that’s here. Basically anything that can end up in Lohman’s mouth does, and it’s this kind of gross-out humor that elevates the movie beyond its original expectations. While other films would give a false scare and then cut to another scene, Raimi does the complete opposite, where he gives a genuine scare and then keeps it going. Kudos are also in order for Raimi for the payoff to the scene where Lohman swallows a fly.

Among the reasons this film is so effective is the sound editing. The squishing, swarming, ominous sounds are incredible and used to great effect. Yes, there are scenes where the music rises to a crescendo but the character will actually experience something harrowing instead of just backing up into some inanimate object.

“Hell” is by no means perfect, though. The plot is decidedly thin and flimsy and is actually almost a rehash of the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “Thinner,” which deals with a curse, as well. The pacing of the film is also a bit out of sync since the movie does have a tendency to seem longer than it actually is. These are all just minor points since no one is going to this film expecting Oscar-caliber work. It’s a fun horror-comedy and should be taken as such.

Fans of Raimi’s early films should definitely not miss this one. Laughs, thrills, and bodily fluids abound in this tale of a cursed woman and her fight to stop it.

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