Are you on the sauce? That is the question you will be asking yourself when you leave the theater after seeing John Dies at The End. What seemed to be a very promising film from the clips, trailers, and featurettes my expectation ran a little high when viewing John Dies. From the moment the film began I could tell that this may be a little over my head and everyone else involved but I gave it a fair watch and here is my review.
So the film follows a guy named Dave who is meeting with a reporter to conduct an interview about this new street drug Soy Sauce. The reporter is played by Paul Giamatti playing his usual type of role wearing an outfit about 20 years past its prime. We come to find out Dave (Chase Williamson) and his buddy John attend a party and after a wild evening Dave separates from John and they both find out there was a massacre at the party they attended. The suspect is a Jamaican drug dealer but they soon find his corpse and realize there is more going on. The main problem is when John separated he got a hold of a new drug called soy sauce that opens up your mind to anything being possible including battling demons.
If you haven’t stopped reading this by now I applaud you because now you must feel the same way I did. Some of the good in the film is the acting even though the dialogue was slightly hard to follow at times. More than anything the conversations were just boring. There were a few funny moments but I can not recall one of them. The main issue with John Dies is it tried to do too much. When I say it’s trying to do too much what i’m talking about is the weird factor. Time after time in the the film they spoke of time travel and being able to read minds kinda similar to the powers in Limitless. This would have worked if not for every scene going just a little bit over the edge. The sad part is John Dies tries to be extremely funny but the jokes and punchlines were stale and tired.
The best part is the notion that demons are always around us and if we open up that part of our mind we can see them and that’s what the sauce does. Now don’t get me wrong I love the concept of John Dies but the execution is horrendous. The creatures looked great but there was no scare factor at all and everything else they tried to do fell short. You can tell that the horror icon Don Coscarelli wanted to appeal to a cult film loving type movie watcher (like myself) and it may have worked if they didn’t try too much. It seems if one of the goals of John Dies is to make you feel like you are on the sauce too. I hate to spoil it but the part when Paul Giamatti finds out who he is is classic and I hate the fact that the rest of the film was not.
I really wish i could give you a better review and point out a few things that could have made the film better but it is not worth my our your time. If you want to see something different then i would say give this film a chance but if you are a mainstream movie fan stay away from John Dies because we you leave the theater you will feel like you are on something.
John Dies at The End is directed by Don Coscarelli and stars Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, and Clancy Brown and will be playing locally here at the Tivoli theater through February 21st.