Alison Lohman © Universal Pictures

In Sam Raimi’s new Horror flick Drag Me to Hell Alison Lohman plays Christine Brown, an ambitious loan officer who is so anxious for a promotion she denies a strange old woman, Mrs Ganush, an extension on her home loan to impress her boss. Big mistake, as Mrs Ganush in retaliation places a curse upon Christine, transforming her life into a living hell.

Alison Lohman © Universal Pictures

This isn’t the type of film that you’ve done in the past.

I thought working with Sam Raimi would be fun and, when he told me the story, it sounded like it was good and that he would inspire me doing a Horror movie, because I wasn’t a big fan of them before.

Did you have to screen test for the role?

No. It was a phone call that [Sam] made, he told the story for three hours in depth, in detail and I was by myself at home, at night and I really felt that I was there with him. And I thought, ‘I could be inspired’ because I wasn’t really a big horror movie person and there are certain people who can get me in that mood and he’s one of them.

Lorna Raver and Alison Lohman © Universal Pictures

How was shooting that scene in the garage where you fight off Mrs Ganush?

It was scary, very intense. I’d show up for work and Mrs. Ganush is strangling me at six in the morning. I was difficult but we got through it. We got bruises and cuts but nothing too [serious].

How did it feel to play a strong female?

I loved it. I really liked that aspect of the character. My character starts out submissive and kind of meek, this quiet girl from Missouri who grew up on a farm and she comes to LA to reinvent herself. She has a new job, new boyfriend, then meets this woman. I really liked that and then the transition into her becoming strong and empowered, taking charge to survive, I just really liked that.

With the movie being about the occult, did anything strange happen during filming?

Alison Lohman © Universal Pictures

Many strange things happened. The first day of shooting, I had a juicer and the stick got stuck, and I pulled back and hit my forehead. I didn’t think I was bleeding, and then I went into the make-up trailer and they were like, ‘Oh, my God!’ It was the first day of shooting, and I had blood dribbling down. And then, the week after, I fell down the stairs. I was just falling all the time. Sam thought I was a klutz, but I’m not. That was a little strange. And then, after the movie, I got shingles because I was exhausted. And then, after that, I broke my foot, and I’d never broken a bone in my life. Nothing hardly ever happens to me.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter. More by Judy Sloane