John Dies at the End
So I took a little longer to write this because I wanted to finish reading the book before I gave my opinion of the movie. I know they’re not the same thing, but sometimes reading the book helps put the movie in better perspective. If you like surrealistic humor mixed with horror told in a sort of stream of consciousness style, this is your jam, homes. I love how the movie followed the book pretty much verbatim for the first half but then I felt that the climax of the movie was all wrong and totally not a climax. When I read the book, it became clear that there was a megaton of action, characters, and incidents that had to be combined (sometimes unsuccessfully) and cut to make it film-length. This hurt the movie as it didn’t have the right pacing and depth. Still, lots of fun, unpredictable and great acting all around. Look for the cameo by Doug Jones!
A great little horror from graduate of Ithaca College, Adam Wingard who gave himself a nifty cameo in the film where we get to watch him get his shit ruined. This movie is part home invasion, part whodunit. This didn’t do so well in the theaters but that may have been attributed to being released in late August (vacation time) and having followed after The Purge (which I have not seen) so maybe people were “horror-ed out” by then. Reviewer Ryan Turek has a very good breakdown as to possibilities:
Synopsis – a family and their significant others gather at the lovely if somewhat rundown Tudor-style vacation estate out in the woods to celebrate the parents’ anniversary and dad’s retirement. An attack begins shortly thereafter and chaos ensues and the killers assure us, “You’re next.”
It’s not terribly hard to figure out who and why this is happening, but that doesn’t detract from the story at all. Waiting to see how it plays out is still worth it. There is enough gore to fulfill the bloodhounds, and enough tension and decent acting and script so as to not devolve into a mere gratuitous bloodbath. Adding just the right touch of comedy relief makes for a very scary, fun and watchable movie.