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Sam Raimi"s next film is Doctor Strange 2, but he shouldn"t close the door on resolving Drag Me To Hell"s cliffhanger with a sequel. From his earliest days as a filmmaker, Raimi has utilized a style and creative vision that have marked him as a unique talent. Raimi’s work ethic embodies everything that struggling young filmmakers everywhere can relate to, and it was his drive and willingness to make a film at all costs that made him the success he is today. His dedication resulted in 1981’s The Evil Dead, and although the film (and its subsequent sequels) failed to become box office smashes or Oscar-winning triumphs, all three remain essential viewing for any horror fan, to this day.
However, despite the ongoing demand for Raimi to return to writing and directing his own horror films, the Evil Dead film series ended in 1992, with Army of Darkness. Since then, Raimi’s only other outing as writer and director has been on 2009’s Drag Me to Hell. The supernatural horror film embodied many of the same elements that the Evil Dead franchise utilized, yet firmly remained its own creation. The film centers on a young Los Angeles transplant called Christine (Alison Lohman), who works as a loan manager at a local bank. After refusing a third extension on an elderly woman’s mortgage payments, the woman places a curse on Christine. As Christine and her highly skeptical boyfriend Clay (Justin Long) discover, a demonic entity known as the Lamia is stalking her, and in three days time, it will take her to Hell.
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The film arrived to great reviews, but one of the key complaints about the film is that it ended on a severe cliffhanger that was never resolved. In its final moments, Drag Me to Hell sees Christine stunned to learn that Clay still has the cursed button that she thought she’d gotten rid of. Both shocking and a brilliant twist to end on, Clay can only watch in stunned horror as Christine is sucked screaming into the fiery depths of hell. The climax seemed a clear setup for a second film, but over a decade later there’s still no sign of Raimi planning to take one on. It’s been a thorn in the side of many Raimi fans ever since, and there"s continued demand a sequel. But what could a second Drag Me to Hell look like?
When it comes to his own films, Raimi has always kept things affordable. Inspiring stories about how the horror filmmaker got the funding together to shoot The Evil Dead still remain a central part of Raimi’s persona. It is perhaps for this reason why we have yet to see a Drag Me to Hell 2. A sequel would have to deal with Hell in some capacity, and creating such a setting would be costly. That being said, if anyone could do it on a budget and still succeed, it’s Raimi.
A second film could do well to focus on Clay as the protagonist. Stuck being forced to confront the very supernatural elements that his career as a psychologist have previously denied, Clay must now try to figure out exactly what’s next. This is much too enormous an endeavor to take on alone, and so he enlists the help of medium Rham Jas (Dileep Rao). What Clay learns is that there is little to no hope of ever seeing Christine again. But after much haranguing by Clay, Rham Jas reveals that the only possible way is the extremely risky process of submitting himself to Hell. Much preparation is required, and in order for Clay to stand any chance at all of returning with Christine, Rham Jas admits that he would also have to undertake the journey. The two men successfully journey to Hell, where a typically Raimi-esque adventure of gore and over-the-top antics ensues.
Of course, even if Clay and Rham Jas are able to make it to Hell, and even if they do succeed in finding Christine, it would take more than brute force to free her. Christine’s soul has been claimed by the Lamia, and as we learned in the first film, the curse cannot be undone by a mere medium. This poses a significant problem for a sequel, but one that could be remedied by a loophole whereby Clay offers up his soul in exchange for Christine’s. It is the ultimate sacrifice, and perhaps the moment could come once Clay has been mortally wounded in the battle to escape from Hell, allowing Both Rham Jas and Christine to return to Earth.
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Drag Me to Hell 2 Is The Closest Evil Dead Fans Will Get To More Evil Dead
While a sequel would resolve Drag Me to Hell’s original cliffhanger ending, it would also provide a new adventure for Evil Dead fans. Ever since Army of Darkness seemingly closed the big-screen story on Ash’s battle against the undead, the demand for another entry in the franchise has been relentless.
Raimi produced the 2013 reboot of Evil Dead and he has announced plans to produce another Evil Dead film in the future, but as far as a return to the series goes, both he and Bruce Campbell seem to have moved on. Drag Me to Hell shares many of the same similarities as Evil Dead, and as such, a sequel could help tip things even more into comparable territory. It might seem cynical or even presumptuous to say as much, but at this point, should Raimi decide to make a sequel to any of his original material, Drag Me to Hell seems the most likely project to approach.
There are sure to be Evil Dead diehards out there who didn’t quite take to Drag Me to Hell upon its release. Still, it’s hard to deny that watching Clay and Rham Jas infiltrate Hell and battle hordes of demons wouldn’t be classic Raimi.
A Drag Me to Hell Sequel Could Set Up A Third Film
By picking up where Drag Me to Hell left off with a sequel, Raimi would be opening up an entirely new franchise that plays to his skills as a filmmaker. The previously mentioned journey into Hell by Clay and Rham Jas, and Clay’s subsequent death, could just be the tip of the iceberg. A third film would feature the ultimate battle, in which Hell is quite literally unleashed on earth.
Though the ending of Drag Me to Hell 2 would feature Christine and Rham Jas’ harrowing return to Earth, the story could end on yet another cliffhanger. Opening the portal to Hell has not been achieved without its fair share of risk. As a result, the ending of the second film could introduce audiences to the reality that a boundary has been breached, and Hell’s demons are now able to effortlessly arrive on Earth. The third film would highlight the inexplicable carnage that is popping up everywhere. While the general public struggles to make sense of what is occurring, both Christine and Rham Jas know exactly what’s taking place.
As Los Angeles succumbs to darkness and destruction, Christine and Rham Jas make their way to the isolation of Clay’s family"s cabin in the woods. The cabin was briefly referenced by Clay in Drag Me to Hell, which was in itself a nod to the cabin that Evil Dead fans know and love. Knowing how private the cabin is, Christine talks Rham Jas into leaving Los Angeles and heading there, so the two can prepare their strategy to fight against the advancing demon armies and send them back to Hell once and for all. It would be a great way for Raimi to come full circle with Evil Dead, as well as a potentially spectacular manner by which to end Drag Me to Hell.
At this point, it’s hard to say if a Drag Me to Hell sequel will ever actually occur, especially with Raimi presently occupied with getting the Doctor Strange sequel off the ground. But given the amount of time that has passed since Drag Me to Hell first arrived in theaters, it’s easy to feel that the odds of a sequel are indeed slim.
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Fans may be of the opinion that the film’s very open ending has cheated them out of more – especially if Drag Me to Hell is as far as things ever go. This may be the case, but perhaps one of the greatest reasons to remain optimistic for a sequel is the fact that Raimi and his brother Ivan wrote Drag Me to Hell all the way back after Army of Darkness was completed. The story sat idle for almost twenty years before production began, which, when compared to the eleven years since Drag Me to Hell, is proof that it’s never too late for Raimi to return to his passion projects.