[Milton-L] 'Surprised by Sin' Again!

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue May 26 19:05:55 EDT 2009

Sam Raimi must have been boning up on Stanley Fish's magnum opus. His recent film, Drag Me To Hell, tells the morality tale of what happens when a young and ambitious loan officer turns down an old woman's application for a mortgage extension. The old lady puts a curse on the ambitious young woman . . . and we're also implicated. Look at this review -- "After Spidey, a Return to Hell" -- by the much maligned Charles McGrath in the New York Times:

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."
That really sounds like Piscean twist to my learned ears. Stanley, have you been tutoring Raimi -- or did he bite into that fruitful lemon twist on his own?
Jeffery Hodges
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