Supernatural-esque premise involves two demon-hunting friends, David Wong (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes); David is recounting their adventures to a journalist, Arnie (Paul Giamatti).
Coscarelli blends it all together with a deft eye and a strong grasp of tone, which manages to stay wry and knowing even when the story seems most likely to bug out and escape. Some of the plot details don't perhaps quite match up, and there were moments when turns toward exposition threatened to drag the film down. Yet, by and large, the film remains entertaining throughout.
Arguably the biggest problem with John Dies at the End is the thing that makes it so accessible; after a marvellous, deranged opening sequence in which Dave beheads a zombie skinhead with an axe, the drift towards Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer territory starts to make the whole things feel quite safe.
Thankfully, John Dies does amount to more than a season finale of a TV fantasy-horror series, but not by quite enough: the stakes don't seem all that high, despite claims of world-ending consequences. If what you want is schlocky fun, then John Dies at the End should deliver. If you want something more, then you may want to look elsewhere afterwards.
The 2013 Glasgow Film Festival runs from 14-24 February. For more of our GFF coverage, simply follow this link.