Will “Drag Me to Hell” drag Hollywood horror back from the brink?

dragmeRead an interesting piece in London’s The Independent over the weekend. The author theorizes that the critical and boxoffice success of Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” could prompt Hollywood to break free of its lame cycle of horror remakes and torture porn. We can only hope.

I enjoyed “Drag Me to Hell,” and while it’s not high art, it was nice to see Raimi return to his fun brand of slapstick horror. The film works because Raimi understands that effective horror — even in a movie as gleefully lowbrow as this one — needs to have a psychological component to back up the grossouts and jump scares. It needs well-drawn characters an audience cares about. Otherwise the pain inflicted on them means nothing.

Will “Drag Me to Hell” help ignite a Hollywood horror renaissance? Hard to say, but I’m rooting for it. I have no desire to sit through another “Saw” installment.