After three action-hero blockbusters (Spidermans (Spidermen?) 1-3), cult director Sam Raimi (Evil Dead 2) is back to his old ways with “Drag Me to Hell”, which, not being a fan of gore, I will probably never see.
The torments the poor young woman suffers sometimes seem a little excessive compared with the relative smallness of her crime — she’s hardly a Bernie Madoff — and that’s part of Mr. Raimi’s intention. “This is a young woman who thinks she’s a good person, but she acts out of greed,” he explained. “That’s what seems relevant — the greed. I tried to make her someone you identify with, because at the moment she has to make her choice, I want the audience to make that choice with her. They sin with her. They know they’re culpable, and now” — he lowered his voice so it sounded like the voice-over of a horror movie trailer — “now they know they’re going to be punished.”
In preaching, we often try to do the same thing, namely to coax people, by way of examples, into an admission of their own guilt, their own suffering, under the Law. That being said, we (hopefully) have something different to offer – not punishment, but grace.