The Vern’s confused about “John Dies At The End” but writes a review anyway.


John Dies at the End.

Cast:  Chase Williamson,Paul Giamatti,Doug Jones

Writers:  Don Coscarelli, David Wong

Director: Don Coscarelli

How the hell does one begin to explain this movie without getting all spoilery and yet still engage the reader’s interest into seeing this.  If I told you the basic premise, you would probably write this off as just another rip off of “Donnie Darko“.  Mainly because both movies deal with inter-dimensional travels and each have weird characters.  It would be best for me to explain the whole story, but the real joy is uncovering it as it goes along.  Movies like this are hard to sell because your general audience wants to have the whole story explained in thirty seconds or less.  Main Character has problems that he or she solves by achieving certain goals and at the end they somehow get back together with their exes for no reason.  Most movies  you can figure out the plot for the whole movie just by watching the trailer.  That is not the case with this one as you can see below.

Do you see the kind of delima I’m having with reviewing this movie.  It’s not one that can be easily explained with just a few paragraphs but I will try my best. Allright so the story’s main character is Dave(Chase Williamson) who is explaining his life story to a reporter named Arnie Blondestone(Paul Giamatti).  He tells him that he found out about this new drug from this Rasta man who could levitate off the ground and knew intricate details of his dream. Dave never does the drug, but his friend John(Rob Mayes) does and as a result he dies, but his spirit lives on and guides our main character through other dimensions and alternate universes. With the assistance of a self-help guru Dr. Albert Marconi(Clancy Brown) and Dave’s one-handed girlfriend Amy(Fabianne Therese).  They will help defeat an evil force that is later explained as the story progresses.  Whew!!!

That description really doesn’t do much to tell what the plot is, but I promise you will have a good time watching this. That is if you are one of those viewers that don’t like to have the entire movie explained right away you will.  The movie was based on the novel written by Jason Pargin(who for some reason chose the name David Wong) and after watching this, I really want to seek out the book because maybe it will help me understand the movie a little bit better.  That’s not really fair, because in no way is this a confusion story.  It just keeps changing and if you’re not paying attention you may get lost. I’m not saying you have to pay attention to every single detail when you watch this, but yet you don’t want to be conversing heavily on twitter when you do. Both Chase Willamson and Rob Mayes do a great job helming the entire movie, and both have such good chemistry I would love to see them team up again in another film. Another great actor I want to see more of even though her role was brief was Allison Weissman who played the role of Shelly, a girl who is having some demon issues.(don’t ask me to explain,just watch the movie). The whole cast of unknowns are really quite good with Paul Giamatti, Doug Jones and Clancy Brown being the only ones that are recognizable.  This is the only movie I have seen from Director Don Coscarelli that I have seen.  He is well-known for directing “Phantasm“and “Bubba Ho-Tep” and I may have to seek those ones out based on how much I enjoyed this feature.  If the characters were not so interesting this movie would drag, but luckily the cast and the story made for a fun watch.  When you do watch this, go into it cold, and you will have a fun time.



About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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8 Responses to The Vern’s confused about “John Dies At The End” but writes a review anyway.

  1. GP says:

    Reblogged this on misentopop.

  2. filmhipster says:

    I had fun with this too, sort of an Evil Dead 2 kind of feeling.

  3. The Vern says:

    I like that comparison. This could be a great franchise

  4. CMrok93 says:

    It’s a strange-ass movie, which means that the next time I watch it; I’ll have to either be high, drunk, or all of the above. Good review Vern.

  5. The Vern says:

    Thanks I hope I can watch this one with some friends, but that’s becoming more and more difficult

  6. Glad you got a chance to see it. While it’s not Coscarelli’s best, it’s still fun. I’m not sure if the book really clears much up, since I only got through the first half. It was witty, but somehow un-engaging. I might give it another shot, however.

    I highly recommend Phantasm (the first one) and Bubba Ho-Tep — two of Coscarelli’s best.

    • The Vern says:

      I will check those out Barry. Thanks. I did not see Phantasm when I was younger because I thought it would be too scary and I havent watched it now because I thought it would be too lame, but I will seek it out soon,

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