Sam Raimi, we adored your early work, its rawness, ingenuity and reckless fun. While many have loved the Spider-Man films, I was bored to bits by them, especially the first two. The third seem more interesting, slightly displays the camp of Raimi's early films, and is deliciously darker.
Which is why I think it's a good idea that Raimi's going back to basics with Drag Me To Hell, his next film. The film will be "a 'spook-a-blast,' a wild ride with all the chills and spills that Evil Dead delivered, without relying on the excessive violence of that film."
Raimi's Ghost House partner, Rob Tapert, says in Variety:
"The appeal to Sam on Drag Me to Hell was returning to what he had once done and loved doing, which was entertaining a very specific group of fans and providing a roller coaster ride for them. He doesn't have the enormous pressure here that goes with handling a hundreds of millions of dollars franchise."
It's funny, but at this point, something struck me, because Raimi is said to be directing The Hobbit after this. Why do directors like Peter Jackson and Raimi lose that interesting edge they had as small-budget directors, when they take on huge projects? Personally, I found the Lord Of The Rings films to be one giant bore. Even though they've been a huge success with Tolkien fans and other folk, there's no denying the extra-special appeal of Jackson's early works like Bad Taste and Dead Alive. Just like how Spider-Man lacks the gung-ho appeal of the Evil Dead films.
The recklessness just isn't there anymore, because, like Tapert says, they're handling multi-million dollars with enormous pressure.
Funnily enough, these directors are even better when they embark on non-genre dramas like Heavenly Creatures and A Simple Plan. Raimi, especially, has the ability to tap effortlessly into the darker side of the human psyche. That's why Spider-Man 3 is, to me, the best of the three.
Please, Mr Raimi and Mr Jackson, stick to the small stuff!