The apocalypse is nigh but where are the zombies?

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

I went into This is the End the best way ever, knowing as little about it as I could—which was this: it’s a comedy about a bunch of friends facing the apocalypse. And I think it’s the best way to go in, with as few spoilers as possible, this is one case when there the little surprises add up to one massive riot.

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This is the End was released June 12th in the United States and three months later, it finally gets released here. Any buzz about this film was probably drowned out by the big budget summer “block busters.” Which is just as well. This is the End was the best surprise I’ve had all year at the movies.

The film’s screenwriters Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg make their directorial debut with this film based on a 2007 short called Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse.

According to the production notes, in 2006 Goldberg’s recalls this one idea he shared with their friend Jason Stone—“Jason and I kept discussing the idea that we’d have a huge concept, but taking place in only one room. Well what’s the hugest concept there is? The end of the world. So we thought we’d do a movie about The Apocalypse, with Seth and Jay in one room.”

According to actor Jay Baruchel, “Back then, we had $2000 and two days and a neat concept of two angry Canadians stuck in an apartment together during the apocalypse and an amazing set that the film students at USC had built.”

So Seth Rogen asks, “What if you were stuck in a house with your friends as the world was ending outside?” And what if from just two guys, that expands to six—six different personalities and so many different dynamics?

It just so happens there was a miracle before the apocalypse: actors James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson’s schedules for other projects allowed them (a tight bunch of friends in real life) to get together and get this done. And I, as a member of the movie going audience, am eternally grateful.

Of course producer James Weaver adds “The guys are all boarded up and trying to survive, but their relationships start to deteriorate.” And what an experience it is to witness the deterioration of those relationships and the meltdown of downtown Los Angeles.

Again, I don’t want to say too much but if you love pop culture and irreverence, do not miss this. Oh yeah, guess what? No zombies.

“This is the End” opens next Wednesday, September 11 exclusively at Ayala Cinemas.

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