Mini-Review: John Dies at the End

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

John Dies at the End

Conventional wisdom is that the horror film, one could even extrapolate this to any kind of genre cinema, cannot be too smart. This is a notion that Don Coscarelli seemingly disdains in his cinema, and usually in the best way possible. Coscarelli’s constructs usually have a surface that are engaging enough to get you beyond the murk of the not-as-clear moment, but if you dig beneath the seeming clarity into the ambiguity, the areas open to interpretation, you are further rewarded.

Coscarelli’s films usually play in this milieu through nightmare logic, in this case in the guise of a mind-expanding, dimension-crossing drug. So it usually leads you to a place where you’re ready to slough off the normal restraints of time and space, which helps you to dive in.

There’s been much unoriginal talk about the lack of originality in cinema. What John Dies at the End exemplifies from the start is that it’s looking to take the road less traveled, in a way it’s not usually trod.

It’s an enjoyable ride, which I may be better able to quantify should I happen to watch it again, but it’s well worth taking. It’s especially worth taking if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary. Something that’s funny, weird and unexpected and all Coscarelli.

8/10

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