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Drag Me To Hell – Justin Long and Alison Lohman interview

Drag Me To Hell

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ALISON Lohman and Justin Long, the stars of Sam Raimi’s horror film Drag Me To Hell, talk about what it was like working with the legendary director and what their favourite horror movie jump-out-of-your-seat moments were…

Q. So, what was it like working with Sam Raimi in the genre that made him famous?
Alison Lohman: Absolutely amazing. He is definitely one of my favourite directors and I’d always wanted to work with him. So, I was ecstatic that he called me and told me the story. I said “yes” straight away.

Justin Long: I feel the exact opposite. Take everything she said and reverse it [laughs]. Seriously, everybody knows how talented he is as a filmmaker… it all speaks for itself. But in terms of who he is as a person and working with him as a director, I think a lot of that has to do with who you are as a person and how you treat people. He’s so gracious and giving and collaborative. He’s also funny. He’s a genuinely funny guy. He’s just the best director in terms of personality I’ve ever worked with, and by far the best in terms of talent. I was lucky to be a part of this.

Q. Were you prepared for just how much he was going to put you through?
Alison Lohman: No, I wasn’t. I hadn’t seen Evil Dead before doing this. I saw it after I said “yes”. But I still had no idea what I was going to go through. It was definitely intense.

Q. What was the most challenging sequence?
Alison Lohman: Hmm, which one? Being covered in maggots or various fluids? They all were. They’re all really different. The last two weeks were pretty challenging, where my character is digging up Mrs Ganush in the graveyard.

Justin Long: That sequence took two weeks to shoot in the cold rain and mud. But that was also towards the end of the shoot and Alison had already gone through the wringer… so she was kind of running on empty at that point. It was tough. I’ve never seen an actress work so hard.

Q. Are you both fans of the horror genre anyway and in terms of jump-out-of-your-seat moments, what are the horror sequences that have made you jump the most?
Justin Long: There’s a scene in The Exorcist 3 with George C Scott that is so frightening. Just thinking about it now gives me chills. It’s this very static, wide shot of a hallway that George C Scott is just walking down. It’s boring. You sort of get lulled into this state of complacency. It’s so real… he’s just there, he’s walking for what seems like the longest time and then this shrieking string music jumps in and in the distance you can make out this nurse running across the screen with a big pair of scissors. I don’t know why it’s so disturbing… it’s the way…

That’s what Sam [Raimi] does really well. On their own they’re not necessarily that scary. It all depends on how it’s shot and how that scene is manipulated. That scene was so good.

Alison Lohman: There’s a movie called Let’s Scare Jessica To Death and the actress just makes everything so real. Normally, there aren’t monsters in the lake but she really just makes it so real. I think that, for me, is what makes horror movies scary – when an actor commits entirely to the circumstances.

Read our review of Drag Me To Hell