Veteran filmmaker Sam Raimi made his much-ballyhooed return to the horror genre with this crazed picture, after years of working on mainstream titles such as "A Simple Plan", "For Love of the Game", and the first three "Spider-Man" feature films. Alison Lohman stars as Christine Brown, loan officer at a bank. She covets a possible promotion a little too much, and her boss (David Paymer) likes people who are able to make tough decisions. Therefore, she denies an extension to the loan to elderly Gypsy Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver). This, of course, is a fatal mistake. The old lady becomes livid and curses Christine. Now a demon dubbed the Lamia will be on its way to drag Christine to Hell in three days time. Christine, who suffers one garish episode after another, works every angle she can think of to avoid the inevitable.
Many reviews here at IMDb tend to go to one extreme or the other: people either love it or loathe it. There aren't that many middle-of-the-road assessments. That said, this viewer did have some genuine fun with this over the top story and film, although it's not without its flaws. Raimi goes for "GOTCHA!" jump scares a little too often, there's an onslaught of utterly cheesy digital effects, and there are moments that are much more laughable than shocking. It is commendable that Raimi and his cast & crew give the proceedings a lot of energy, and fans of the first two "Evil Dead" features may take *some* delight in the way that Raimi goes for the gross-out so often. He never seems to run out of things to stick in Lohmans' mouth. One unqualified highlight is the grandiose music score by Christopher Young, giving the whole thing an operatic feel.
All of this would be rather meaningless if the lead character weren't at least somewhat sympathetic, and Lohman makes Christine an appealing character. Justin Long is similarly engaging as her loving, faithful boyfriend, and the top supporting cast also showcases talents such as Raver (who's memorably creepy and disgusting), Dileep Rao (as a fortune teller), Adriana Barraza (as a medium who'd encountered the Lamia 40 years ago), the always solid Paymer, and Chelcie Ross as Longs' father. Raimis' actor brother Ted can be heard briefly as a doctor making a house call; Octavia Spencer has a small role as a bank employee.
This comes complete with a "twist" near the end that isn't too hard to predict.
Overall, decent entertainment. It may be silly at times, but at least it isn't boring.
Seven out of 10.