Monday Movies: The World’s End and You’re Next

This apocalyptic pub crawl by the creators of Shaun of the Dead is disappointingly slapdash and a bit short on laughs

The World’s End - A new horror-comedy by the creators of Shaun of the Dead is disappointingly slapdash and a bit short on laughs. See it on the big screen at the Odeon

The World’s End - A new horror-comedy by the creators of Shaun of the Dead is disappointingly slapdash and a bit short on laughs. See it on the big screen at the Odeon

Although anything by the creators of Shaun of the Dead is potentially of great interest, their new horror-comedy The World’s End is disappointingly slapdash and a bit short on the laughs. The movie opens with aging bad-boy Gary King (Simon Pegg) cajoling his four best mates from high school into a beer-soaked reunion. The plan is to return to their hometown to finally complete the elaborate pub-crawl that ended so ignominiously for them 20 years earlier. A very bad idea, as it turns out.

Unkempt and unshaven, motor-mouth Gary has remnants of his youthful panache but is mostly an immature jerk – so much so that his friends, who have all long-since become responsible adults, are ready to abandon the boozy ne’er do well after quaffing only four pints. But then they discover that the town is populated by replicant robots. Needless to say it’s soon a case of man versus machine as End upshifts from you-can’t-go-home-again bittersweet nostalgia to an apocalyptic scrap.

It’s easy to want to like this movie: at its core are five decent actors playing characters who are having a collective mid-life crisis that is funny and occasionally touching. But all the sci-fi stuff that drives the plot is just silliness that doesn’t go anywhere, leading to a movie with throwaway gags and nothing much on its mind (with Shaun, the movie began with the droll idea that the citizens of London were already a bit zombiefied even before the undead starting their chomping). And although Gary is supposed to be a lovable rascal, you’re mostly rooting for one of his mates to dump a pint of ale on his annoying fat head.

Rating: ★★½

The World’s End continues at the Odeon, SilverCity and Westshore

 

Kill, And Kill Again

 

The mayhem is much more gruesome in You’re Next, a diabolically clever slasher flick that takes the home-invasion genre and kicks it up several notches. It’s a couple’s 35th wedding anniversary, and they’re celebrating at their remote summerhouse with four adult children and various spouses and partners. During dinner a crossbow bolt shatters a window and ends up in the middle of someone’s forehead. Shock turns to horror as these terrified folk soon realize that there are maniacs out there with animal masks on their faces and butchery on their minds. And so it goes, with the body count – and the screams – steadily increasing.

What could have been just a better-than-average slice of slaughter-porn suddenly gets interesting when one of the guests with an unusual survivalist background proves very resourceful when it comes to fighting back. After one of the bad guys has his skull pulped to grey jelly by an oversize meat tenderizer, the movie unexpectedly tilts from massacre to fair fight – one with a generous helping of plot twists.

It’s probably impossible to really scare audiences these days but Next comes pretty close, thanks to the director’s ability to both manipulate and surprise the audience. Declining to wallow in excessive sadism, the script uses standard horror tropes in fresh ways, and also adds an impressively pitch-black sense of humour to several scenes. Not to all tastes of course, but splatter fans will have a shockingly fine time with this anything-but-peaceful visit to the country.

Rating: ★★★

You’re Next continues at the Empire 6 & SilverCity

 

PERFECTLY POTABLE:

With an epic pub-crawl as the plot line for World’s End, let’s limit ourselves to one epic beer: Dark Matter, by local brewing icon Sean Hoyne. Okay, maybe it’s not exactly one of the great mysteries of astrophysics, but this Dark Matter is an impressive ale indeed, one that combines aspects of a stout, a porter, and a brown ale. There is heft here, but delicacy too, alongside flavours of mocha, caramel, and a hint of chocolate and coffee. Yum!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andrew Swanson was arrested Wednesday after he was wanted for an alleged choking assault and for obstructing police. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police arrest Andrew Swanson on warrants for alleged choking assault, obstruction

A member of the public spotted Swanson and called 911 before police came and made the arrest

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read