Patrick Goldstein of the L.A. Times has some interesting observations to make concerning the Drag Me to Hell poster (top). As he notes, the actress’s wide open mouth seems to express orgasmic ecstasy rather than the horror of being dragged down to hell: “If this is a horror film where she’s supposed to be scared, why is it that she also appears sexually aroused?”
I was reminded of the poster for Wes Craven’s 1981 horror turkey, Deadly Blessing (bottom), in which a pre-stardom Sharon Stone also expresses inappropriate ecstasy while being caressed by demonic hands.
It’s no news to anyone that sex sells – whether appropriate or not.
The Sharon Stone poster image was based on an actual shot from the film. Maybe the only memorable shot in the film.
The Drag Me to Hell image doesn’t look like anything in the movie. Alison Lohman’s character never enjoys her torments. However, her wide open mouth does reflect director Sam Raimi’s fixation on oral penetration. (See Jeannette Catsoulis’s review here.)
I’ll bet you the creators of the Drag Me to Hell poster also remembered Deadly Blessing.