Live Free or Die Hard (2007)


John McClane and a young hacker join forces to take down master cyber-terrorist Thomas Gabriel in Washington D.C.  (IMDb)
Willis’ gruff cop and Long’s sheltered geek make a fun odd couple, but the former’s “old-school” attitude gets annoying quick, especially when the tech-ignorance gives way to blatant racism (“Kung-Fu shit” and “Asian hooker bitch”? Really?). Elsewhere, the writing is ridiculous (the bad guys can literally hack anything in seconds) and full of plot holes and the action sequences often match it (see helicopter vs. car; car in the elevator; semi vs. fighter jet). Mostly fun, but really dumb.
6/10 (Mediocre)

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point. (IMDb)

The horror here is a deliciously entertaining concoction of classic haunted house suspense (a rattling door!), supernatural torment (a shadowy hoofed demon!), and campy gross-out blood-and-guts shocks (mostly featuring a creepy old gypsy lady), backed by an epic stringed soundtrack. It’s not that scary, but it’s fun, and despite mediocre acting and an average plot, the film fully succeeds in its execution of the torturous terror-relief cycle right through to its awesome climax and conclusion.