The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th


Movie short: John Dies at the End

When a film’s tagline is an apology stating “they’re sorry for anything that’s about to happen,” you know you’re stepping into surrealist territory. That’s exactly what director Don Coscarelli does in “John Dies at the End.”

Based off David Wong’s comic book of the same title, this movie is about a new drug released on the streets called Soy Sauce, which takes its users through time and space. Unfortunately, when users return, not all of them return as human. Two college dropouts, John (Rob Mayes) and Dave (Chase Williamson), take it upon themselves to kill the evil that Soy Sauce has created and save humanity.

Performances by Williamson and Mayes are overall enjoyable. They take on the witty, unrestrained world around them and make the audience believe it’s normal. We also get a solid performance from Paul Giamatti as Arnie Blondestone, whose performance as the intrigued reporter adds to the film’s quirky absurdities.

“John Dies” is shot in a series of flashbacks, which makes it hard to keep up with the time of the story. It is heavy in dark comedy and full of cryptic metaphors that work in the beginning, but eventually disappear, leaving only limp jokes.

On a positive note, “John Dies” does have its ingenuity. The movie’s artistic appeal is what saves it from its silliness, though at times it blurs the line between art and weird.

With its intricate camera design, fantastical world and purposefully implemented bad special effects, in the end the viewer will wonder if they can feel at one with the human race again.

Dive verdict: ?????

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