Drag Me to Hell (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Mar 29, 2024
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Drag Me to Hell (Blu-ray Review)


Sam Raimi

Release Date(s)

2009 (March 13, 2024)


Ghost House Pictures/Universal Pictures (Via Vision Entertainment)
  • Film/Program Grade: B+
  • Video Grade: A
  • Audio Grade: A+
  • Extras Grade: B+

Drag Me to Hell (Blu-ray)



Drag Me to Hell was, above all things, a triumphant return by Sam Raimi to the genre he so prevalently took part in before becoming a major Hollywood director. After a string of more mainstream films, including the original Spider-Man trilogy, he decided to tackle horror once again, this time with a fresh story. Christine (Alison Lohman) is a young loan officer with a caring boyfriend (Justin Long) and a good life. Eager to prove to her boss (David Paymer) that she can make tough decisions, she denies an extension on the mortgage of an old gypsy woman (Lorna Raver). Soon finding herself cursed, she sets out to end the nightmares and demonic torment that plagues her, but more importantly, to prevent herself from being dragged to Hell in three days.

What’s interesting about Drag Me to Hell is the role reversal of its lead character. Most viewers were actively cheering on Christine’s demise because of how selfish she turns out to be. It’s a strange dynamic, and one that feels novel in an otherwise stale script. It’s partly why the film holds up as well as it does. The only thing that really spoils it is the CGI, which even in 2009 when the film was released, didn’t look very good. Otherwise, the practical special and make-up effects work, as well as the performances from everyone involved, are all quite good. Like many of Sam Raimi’s previous genre-based films, Drag Me to Hell’s mix of comedy and horror is very well-blended, making for an enjoyable time at the movies.

Drag Me to Hell was shot by cinematographer Peter Deming on 35 mm film (Kodak Vision3 500T 5219 and Vision2 2500 5205, 200T 5217 stock) with Panavision Panaflex Gold II and Panavision Panaflex Platinum cameras with Panavision Primo lenses, finished as either a 2K or 4K Digital Intermediate (unable to confirm), and presented in the aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Via Vision Entertainment presents the film on Blu-ray containing both the theatrical and unrated cuts on separate BD-50 discs. These appear to be the same presentations that were included on Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release in 2018, which were new masters struck from a 2K Digital Intermediate.

Plenty of depth in the image is present with strong detail and a very healthy encode running primarily between 30 to 40Mbps, often in the upper 30s, though sometimes dipping below. Saturation, though highly stylized, offers a range of hues with deep blacks and impressive shadow detail. A minor amount of crush is on display, but it’s a drop in the bucket to what was in 2018 and still is in 2024 a great set of presentations. Improvements could definitely be made in 4K with HDR, but these are still fine offerings.

Audio is included in both English 5.1 and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio (the same tracks featured on the Scream Factory release), with optional English SDH subtitles. The 5.1 track is booming and active, featuring abundant speaker to speaker activity, crystal-clear dialogue reproduction, aggressive sound effects and ambient activity, and plenty of breathing room for Christopher Young’s excellent musical score. An object-based audio track has the potential to put things over the top.

The 2-Disc Blu-ray release of Drag Me to Hell by Via Vision Entertainment sits in a blue Amaray case with a slipcover. This set is also currently available (as of this writing) in a Limited Edition Blu-ray release, also featuring 6 photo cards and a thick lenticular case. The disc-based contents are exactly the same on both releases, of which the following are included:


  • Production Video Diaries (HD – 35:09 – 14 in all)
  • Interviews with Sam Raimi, Alison Lohman, and Justin Long (SD – 33:37 – 3 in all)
  • TV Spots (SD – :50 – 2 in all)
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD – 2:21)


  • Audio Commentary by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
  • Editing Drag Me to Hell (HD – 10:59)
  • Channeling Drag Me to Hell (HD – 14:30)
  • Designing Drag Me to Hell (HD – 23:16)
  • Illustrating Drag Me to Hell (HD – 14:15)
  • Scoring Drag Me to Hell (HD – 21:48)

Disc One offers a set of Production Video Diaries shot during the making of the film, featuring various pieces of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew, including Sam Raimi, actors Alison Lohman, Justin Long, David Paymer, Dileep Rao, Lorna Raver, special makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero, and director of photography Peter Deming, among others. Also included are three EPK-sourced interviews with Sam Raimi, Alison Lohman, and Justin Long, as well as 2 TV spots and the theatrical trailer. It’s basically a carbon copy of Disc One of Scream Factory’s release.

However, a whole new set of materials have been cooked up by Daniel Griffith at Ballyhoo Motion Pictures for Disc Two. Things begin with an audio commentary by writers and film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Johnson, a pair of names you might recognize from any number of genre Blu-ray releases; always insightful, always entertaining, and definitely worth your time. Adding to that are a set of new interviews with editor Bob Murawski, actor Dileep Rao, production designer Steve Saklad, sketch artist and prop designer Christian Cordella, and composer Christopher Young. Not included from the Scream Factory release are To Hell and Back: A Conversation with Alison Lohman, in which she talks about her experiences making the film and working with Sam Raimi; Curses!: Lorna Raver Talks Drag Me to Hell, in which the actress talks about how much fun she had making the film, revealing herself to be the total opposite of the character she played; Hitting All the Right Notes: Christopher Young and the Music of Drag Me to Hell, in which he tells of his long-time desire to work with Sam Raimi and the music he created for the film; and a brief animated still gallery.

Via Vision’s upgrade of Drag Me to Hell is another fine release that bumps up the overall value with some great new extras and the same excellent presentations of both versions of the film, all in a very attractive package. Your mileage may vary on whether to upgrade for new bonus materials, but having Limited Edition and standard edition options should help out your wallet.

- Tim Salmons

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