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This Is the End – 7

Director – Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Cast – James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Martin Starr, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I always intended to watch This Is the End in theaters but never got around to it until I started seeing it pop up on Top 10 Horror Film lists for 2013. Based on its trailer I did not consider it a horror film but more of a comedy with a few elements of horror, but I was a bit wrong about its level of the good stuff. Coming from the crew that wrote/directed Superbad and Pineapple Express, I was not sure what to expect from their attempt at a horror flick and had my doubts. While This Is the End does focus much more heavily on its comedy than its horror, it does provide a positive horror/comedy experience.

After a long hiatus Jay Baruchel returns to LA to spend time with his old friend Seth Rogen, but things turn awry when they attend a party at James Franco’s house and come face to face with the apocalypse.

As I mentioned earlier, I was not sure what to expect from this story regarding its horror, and unless you consider earthquakes and people falling into pits of fire as “horror” then the horror does not hit the screen until an hour into the 100 minute film. The bulk of the development consists of non-stop jokes and carnage as the Biblical Rapture takes place outside of James Franco’s home. I enjoyed the humor and the hilarious deaths of some of today’s most popular celebrities, and despite the humor there was lots of conflict written into the story as well. I feel as though the conflict was very essential in keeping my attention until the horror hit, especially considering that I am not a die hard fan of the Rogen/Goldberg duo. Once the horror finally arrives we get some decent creature action, which is eventually accompanied by some demon possession scenes as well. This horror still manages to be funny in nature and because of this we get some funny kills, but the horror never takes the front seat over the comedy. That does not mean that these scenes were not enjoyable, but keep in mind that I am reviewing this as a horror film.

The direction is pretty good and keeps a constant fun feel despite the film’s conflict and horror. There is a lot of CGI used in this flick and sadly it wasn’t high quality either, but I can spin it in a positive way by saying it adds to the film’s silly/comedic tone. A caveat to this though is it negatively affects the horror as the creatures lack the scary punch they would deliver had they been portrayed with live action FX. I also found the execution of the horror to be borderline-positive at best, with decent execution of the creatures but poor execution of the demon possession scenes. The sets used were also very basic and obviously cheap, especially at James Franco’s “fancy” new home, but much like the CGI they add a silly tone to the flick. As far as the film’s numerous actors go their character performances were the same as they usually are, with the protagonist actors portraying themselves and coming off in the same vein as they do in their other comedy flicks. Their interaction was great and they provide some funny scenes that are sure to leave a multitude of viewers laughing and enjoying the fun, maybe making this one of the crazier but not better horror comedies out there.

Overall, This Is the End is a horror comedy that gets a lot of things right with the comedy but somewhat fails with the horror. If you are watching this as a film in general then it should see a higher rating, but as a horror film it barely manages a positive rating. We do get a few fun kills and some good apocalyptic action, but keep in mind that the horror takes a serious backseat in this film.

Rating: 7/10

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