Sunday, October 20, 2013

Horror Film Review

This Is The End (2013):  Here's the question...can a Seth Rogen project starring all of his actor buddies be considered a horror flick?  The answer, of course, is "hell, no."  But when a movie contains gratuitous blood, gore, and well-hung demons, Pineapple Express it ain't. 

It's like this:  everyone in this film plays himself.  Jay Baruchel flies into Los Angeles to spend time with Seth, which consists mostly of smoking weed, drinking, playing video games, and smoking weed.  Seth later drags Jay to a party at James Franco's house attended by all of Seth's new Hollywood friends including Johah Hill, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson.  Michael Cera's there, snorting cocaine and acting like an obnoxious douche (he slaps an unamused Rihanna on the ass).  Other cameos include Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, David Krumholtz, Aziz Ansari, Channing Tatum, and Jason Segel.  Jay hates them all and thinks Seth has turned his back on his roots.  They're discussing this while on a food run to a convenience store when an earthquake strikes.  Jay witnesses many people being pulled into the sky by columns of blue light.  Fires break out, there's mayhem in the streets, and Jay and Seth haul ass back to Franco's house, which is brand new and heavily reinforced against earthquakes. 

A massive sinkhole opens in Franco's lawn and famous folks start falling in.  No death-by-sinkhole for Cera, though.  His is far more inventive.  And gross.  Soon, only the six guys in the movie poster remain, and they barricade themselves in the house where they hunker down to await rescue.  They figure since they're actors, they'll be the highest priority.  No one comes.  Tensions build, Danny bails, Jay and Craig get chased by demons, Jonah becomes possessed in a bizarre Rosemary's Baby/Exorcist homage, and Franco winds up getting eaten by cannibals.  Still with me?  Turns out this isn't about aliens or zombies but rather the Biblical Apocalypse.  Armageddon.  Heaven and hell.  And only selfless acts get you an invite upstairs.  That certainly explains why most of the Hollywood set dropped into a chasm to hell.  Three of the six make it to the pearly gates where there's a huge party with the Backstreet Boys.  Hey, don't look at me.  I didn't make the movie.

I liked that Seth and company poked major fun of themselves and Hollywood in general.  I didn't like the choice of world-ending scenarios.  The Bible?  With this bunch?  I could have also done without the sticky porno magazine scene.  I liked Emma Watson going all Rambo with an ax and Channing Tatum's S&M makeover.  And then there's the game of soccer with a guy's severed head.  A little something for everyone.

The Skinny

Acting:  Everyone plays a caricature of himself so it's difficult to gauge.  No performance is awful, although Danny McBride is predictably annoying.
Story:  It's a hell of an idea, I'll give them that. 
Direction:  I kept waiting for the film to go off the rails but Rogen seems to know what he's doing behind the camera.
Production Values:  With this group involved, there was no shortage of cash to make it look good ($32 million budget). 
Gore/FX:  Plenty of both.  The CGI demons and cataclysmic fires are impressive...and probably took up half the budget.  More blood came out of Michael Cera than is physically possible.  Groovy.
Scares:  Funnily enough, there are a few.  The biggest is when Jay and Craig go on a supply run to a neighbor's house.  Demons.
Ending:  It's really quite stupid. 
Verdict:  Should you see This Is the End?  Only if you're a fan of these guys' movies.  If you are (and I am), then you should enjoy it.  If you are not, then I highly recommend avoiding it at all costs. 

Rating:  3 out of 5


  1. I like this review.
    Will I see this? Don't know.
    But hey--It's Halloween time. How about a new pic of your haunted place?

  2. I snickered a couple times, but this one was one of those that had all the funny parts in the trailer. It's fine for a $1.29 Redbox rental, but if I had seen it in the theater I would have been pissed.

  3. About as pissed as I was after dropping ten bucks to see Paranormal Activity or Cowboys vs. Aliens in the theater.