But of course, rather than this being six random people we don’t really know until the film starts, this is six sort of well-known faces. These aren’t actors playing other people, these are actors playing themselves. And, surprisingly, this works really well.
The actors seem to be either exaggerated versions of what you may think they’re like, or the total opposite. The banter between them – not just the six main, but all of the people at Franco’s party – give a sort of strange sense of realism to the film. It feels odd, almost like watching a documentary, and the oddness only builds as the events start and the famous faces begin dying.
The film feels unique, as the actors run around and try to work out what to do, left stranded in the house with absolutely no idea how to start boarding it up or making themselves safe. And it feels like they’re all poking fun at each other and themselves, as they comment about being actors who play hard men but not actually being hard men.
Parts of the film almost feel like a few guys were dumped in a house, with lots of drugs, and told to just…make their own fun. They get together to make a sequel to Pineapple Express, do as many drugs as they possibly can, and just hang out. Until shit hits the fan and they realise they’ve run out of most things to help them survive. Oh. And then there is the fact that outside the house, everything is burning and strange creatures roam the lands.
The actual apocalypse used in this film is one not seen often. We’ve seen aliens, zombies and disasters wiping out (or trying to wipe out) humanity, a lot, so it’s nice to have something, for once, that involves none of these things (and something that proves even Hermione can be wrong). It’s different and unique, and obviously causes panic among the men, as they struggle to find out if they do have a way out of this mess, or if they’re all doomed.
Now, I admit, I love horror. I’ll watch almost anything (except Child’s Play because dolls really freak me the hell out), but I’ve yet to find anything that actually scares me beyond maybe a couple of jumps. And yet, there were parts of This Is The End that had me grabbing the nearest cushion. I don’t know what it was, but for a bit I actually felt scared. More so than watching most horror films. And it’s not something I can totally put my finger on, but the creatures they face, the situations they find themselves in, in themselves, in among the humour and sometimes light-hearted feel of the film, really make parts of it scary. Yet a few seconds later, I, and my friend I watched it with, would find ourselves laughing. Comedy + horror are a really, really good mix. Especially here.
This Is The End is a brilliant watch, enjoyable, funny and scary, with moments of pure ‘what the hell’. It’s a film that takes the apocalypse and makes it, somehow, more realistic and enjoyable than most of the films out there dealing with the same thing. Whether you’re a fan of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill etc. or not, This Is The End is definitely something you should see. (Especially for the moment when Jonah Hill is possessed and Jay Baruchel has to perform an exorcism. Pure brilliance.)