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“Drag Me To Hell.”

“Drag Me To Hell.” (photo)

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By the B-movie ethics of Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell,” the torments inflicted on poor Christine Brown are grossly (and grossly) unfair and yet, there’s no denying it, also at least a little bit deserved. Christine (Alison Lohman) is the bank loan officer who makes the fateful final call to kick a zestfully unlovable old lady out of her house for failing to keep up on mortgage payments, but she’s really just the last dinky cog in the machine, the one put in the disagreeable position of being the human face on a corporate decision. Eyeing a promotion to a managerial role, she chooses to toe the hardass institutional line and not to give the woman another extension, and for that, in what might be considered something of an overreaction, gets gypsy cursed to a long weekend of demonic harassment rounding off in eternal damnation.

As much as, these days, there’s satisfaction to be had in watching anyone on the lending side of mortgages get thrown around the house by an invisible monster, it’s not Christine’s siding with finance over sympathy that gives the movie its gratifyingly mean edge — it’s that she’s is a moral equivocator, a milquetoast lass who spends a lot of the film pretending her firm stances aren’t anything but. She could have bought more time for Mrs. Ganush (a go-for-broke Lorna Raver, in what has to be one of the least vanity-friendly roles of all time), but didn’t, and yet pleads that the decision belonged to her boss, a claim that doesn’t impress the Lamia, the infernal spirit summoned to plague her. (Metaphysical question: If elderly gypsy women have the power to send people to hell, does that make them… God?) She’s a vegetarian whose objections over animal sacrifice last as long as it takes her to find a knife and her track down her kitty, a formerly fat farm girl who’s ashamed of her background, and a would-be winsome victim who becomes shrill when no one can come to her rescue.

One of the great satisfactions of “Drag Me To Hell” — and, buoyantly batty without the millstone of “Spider-Man 3”-style operatics, it has many, including an ongoing gag-inducing gag in which Mrs. Ganush ends up spewing vile on Christine’s face in their every encounter — is that its heroine has to grow a spine and acknowledge both the extent of her culpability and the fact that it still hasn’t warranted the shit she’s gotten stuck with, but that to pass the buck would mean to put someone else in the same undeserved spot in which she found herself. It’s a transformation with more to it than just that of a winsome girl learning to stand up for herself.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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