Alison Lohman Talks About 'Drag Me to Hell'

Lohman Tackles Her First Starring Role in a Horror Film with 'Drag Me to Hell'

Alison Lohman in Drag Me to Hell
Lorna Raver and Alison Lohman in 'Drag Me to Hell.'. © Universal Pictures

Alison Lohman felt like she quite literally got dragged to hell while filming Universal Pictures' Drag Me to Hell, Sam Raimi's return to the horror genre. Lohman was sold on the idea of playing a woman who turns down a gypsy for a bank loan extension after getting a rundown on the story from Raimi. But Raimi neglected to tell Lohman just how physical things were going to get on the set.

"It’s funny because when he told me the story on the phone, it was about three hours long," explained Lohman at the film's LA press day.

"He could have had time to tell me all that but then at the very end, he said, 'I just want you to know, I hope you’re up for this.' I vaguely just thought, 'Oh, does he mean because it’s a horror movie? He must mean because it’s a horror movie.' I hadn’t seen Evil Dead so I just didn’t know what he meant. It turned out to be that it should’ve been a bigger part of the discussion."

Raimi takes his horror seriously, and even though he tortured her throughout the production, Lohman would gladly star in another one of his movies - just not a horror film next time. There's no Drag Me to Hell sequel in Lohman's future. "I would love to be in another Sam movie, definitely. I don't care what I am, really. Just don’t torture me again."

And she's serious when she says Raimi tortured her. "Yes, oh my gosh, yes. Definitely. He played the fly. He had a little fishing pole. He loved it. He’s like a kid in a sandbox.

He did a lot of things. He mimed, with the handkerchief stuff, I would just follow him. A lot of that is just me being like, 'And now he’s doing that...okay,' and I’d just follow him."

The action scenes in Drag Me to Hell really kept Lohman, who's a horror movie rookie, hopping. "I did have one funny thing that happened I remember.

It’s six in the morning, I had to scream my lungs out, being dragged out of the car, whatever moment it was. Sam on his megaphone screamed, ‘This isn’t f--king Barefoot in the Park. It’s Drag Me to Hell so scream!’ And I was like, 'Oh my god, he means business. He’s in his suit and it’s on.'"

"He’s very tough on me, but he needed to be because he wanted to make it look real and I’m glad that he did that," said Lohman. "At times I’m being strangled. I’m not used to these kinds of films, so obviously I’ve never been strangled or dragged out of a car. So in this one part of it, I’m being strangled and he said it didn’t look real. And then I would do it again, ‘Well, does this look real? Does this look real?’ ‘No, it doesn’t look real.’ So I thought, 'Are you trying to say that I have to really be strangled?' And he just stood there looking at me like, 'Well, yeah.' So I had to hold my breath and make Lorna [Raver] strangle me. We had to get nitty gritty about it. It wasn’t like I could be girly at all. Not girly, but you know what I mean."

And given that she's in almost every scene, Lohman didn't really have a whole lot of time to relax and wind down from being dragged through hell. "It was difficult because a lot of the time doing a movie, you go to your trailer or hang out, do something else, so you have a little bit of a break to get away and just unload or sleep.

There was no time for that on this, barely time to go to the bathroom so that was probably the hardest part of it for me, was nonstop," admitted Lohman.

Lohman even had her nose wired to squirt blood, something the 29 year old actress never dreamed she'd have done to her on the set of a film. "They wire this tube and tape it all the way to my nose. Then when the blood’s supposed to come out, it just comes all the way up and then sprays out like a sprinkler. They CGI erase it out." Wow.

But at least Lohman's happy that her character gets to give some back, maybe not as good as she gets, but she doesn't stay a meek young woman the entire movie. "I loved that about my character. I loved that part. My character’s submissive to her boss, wanting to please everyone, and then just takes charge, trying to survive.

I love seeing that dynamic. I find that interesting to watch on film and I think I see aspects of myself in that and I kind of wanted to draw on that a little bit."

Up Next - Gamer

After Drag Me to Hell, Lohman's next big screen appearance will come playing Trace in Gamer for writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. "She’s part of the Resistance. I try to get Gerard Butler back to his family. It’s this dystopian future where humans are playing humans on a global scale through video games. So that’s my character," explained Lohman.

Lohman didn't have to worry about handling more stunt work in Gamer because she says hers is a smaller part and everything physical was handled by someone else. Lohman's seen the film, which takes place in a world she describes as "chaotic" and where "everything’s debaucherous." "It’s a really good movie," said Lohman. "It turned out better than I expected, to be honest. I read the script and a lot of the time, reading the scripts, it doesn’t even give an idea of the tone of the movie or a lot of the other different aspects. So when the director gets involved, they have such their own take on it and both Mark and Brian are very strong, just like Sam. So they do their own thing and it’s great, that the scripts couldn’t do."

Lohman admits she's not good with describing the tone of a movie, but she tried to do so for Gamer. "I can’t even say what Sam’s tone is and I know it’s very strong, so… Actually, I think it’s a little bit different than the Crank movies that they did. It’s more, maybe more serious. It’s kind of a serious action movie in a way. It’s like this could happen. It’s more real, what’s happening, even though it is in the future."