dir. Ian Tripp & Ryan Schafer
Horror is awash with provocative auteurs, figures who take a certain glee at testing the boundaries of taste. Such directors are playfully sent up in Ian Tripp and Ryan Schafer’s Everybody Dies by the End, a terrifically titled horror comedy packed with ideas that unfortunately don’t quite come together.
The narrative focuses on Alfred Costella (an increasingly monstrous Vinny Curran), a director famed for cult schlock as well as an interview that goes disastrously wrong. A decade since he receded from the industry Costella is back with one last film, a feature that shares its title with this mockumentary chronicling it.
Tripp and Schafer bring an uneasy tension to the narrative, keeping the viewer deliberately on the back foot over what is happening on set, with the idea of cult cinema mischievously deconstructed. How it progresses peaks audience curiosity, adding to the humour that’s adeptly peppered throughout.
Where Everybody falls down is in finding a balance between the jokes and the more serious aspects of its story. The abuse of power exerted by figures in the film industry is one that audiences have had to grapple with for several years now, and it can feel like this is a work that isn’t quite sure how to add to that conversation. It makes for an increasingly frustrating watch, one whose ample charms can’t quite paper over its limitations.
© Russell Bailey