If John Hamburg's I Love You Man -- in which Paul Rudd plays a California real-estate agent seeking a best friend in Jason Segel, an investor in "illiquid assets" -- is a subtle and damning portrait of America before the housing crisis, then Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell must be our cultural snapshot of the bubble's aftermath.   

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Well, okay, neither of those things is actually true. But Drag Me To Hell is about a loan officer, played by Alison Lohman, responsible for processing mortgages and foreclosures at a California bank. And the moral of the story is really quite clear: If evil banks continue to foreclose on the homes of helpless old ladies with health problems and fixed incomes, one of them will inevitably turn out to be a gypsy witch with with dark powers who will seek a terrible vengeance by summoning the horrors of the underworld. 


Somewhat more generally, I am impressed by the ability to a major studio to get the cultural timing right here. Just a couple of months ago there were films like the comically ill-timed Confessions of a Shopaholic and The International. They must have seemed like a great concepts in late 2006, to whatever studio executive greenlighted them somewhere between his third and forth mortgage.

I assumed the industry's long production times and so forth would make that kind of problem inevitable, but the timing of Raimi's film -- which obviously wants to ride the coattails of the mortgage crisis to success at the box office -- is really pretty impressive.