Movies: John Dies at the End

(Admittedly watched while drinking a quantity of rum, so . . .)

I don't watch horror movies as a rule; I don't like gore. Psychological thrillers—I love those. But anything bloody and slashery is a no thank you.

Still, I liked this movie. I wasn't sure I would because I wasn't really sure what to expect, but the trailer did its job by intriguing me, and so . . . In its favor, it wasn't so gory. And a lot of the effects were just this side of gimmicky so that I didn't mind the nasty bits so much. I did mind the spiders, but they were brief.

The plot itself is a somewhat ridiculous romp, a tale of alternate dimensions and the need to protect the world as we know it from extraterrestrial influences. And there's a dog! It's all rather Buffyesque in a way, though the gang didn't quite gel in JDatE. No, here the focus is on Dave and his friend John who use an alien drug to heighten their senses so that they can defeat, um . . . Well, anyway, it was a fun movie, apparently based on a book (or a web serial? I'm not entirely clear on that and too tired to go look it up), the kind of thing you watch while drinking lots of rum on a Saturday night. Or beer. That would probably work too. But wine would be too artsy.

On the whole, the movie had the feel of a bit of a would-be zombie flick (thanks to the effect the drug has on some people), or maybe it's more like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, followed up with the video game big boss thing. The plot structure isn't fantastic, but the movie is fun enough to skate by these issues. It's comic book fare, really. Going in with little expectation, I found myself enjoying the movie, and its short running time means you don't feel the 99 minutes are wasted. JDatE is the stoner movie of the horror genre (or one of them; I assume there are probably others). It hits the sweet spot between silly and gross if and when you're in the mood for that kind of thing; fans of shows like The X-Files and/or Doctor Who might surely want to take a look, as JDatE inhabits a nexus between the two.

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