HomeFilmArrow Video FrightFest 2022: ‘Everybody Dies By The End’ review

Arrow Video FrightFest 2022: ‘Everybody Dies By The End’ review

Temperamental film-maker Alfred Costella (Vinny Curran) has forged a career making cult horror films and when he announces his final film, ‘Everybody Dies By The End’, a documentary crew is hired to capture the making of it. As production on the film begins, Al’s behaviour gets increasingly more worrying and it seems there’s nothing he won’t do to make his final film a masterpiece.

‘Everybody Dies By The End’ is the latest in a long-line of mockumentary features that the horror genre is producing right now. It’s one of several showing at this year’s Arrow Video FrightFest and it comes from Ian Tripp who wrote the screenplay, co-directed the film with Ryan Schafer and stars in it as Calvin. Opening with footage from an interview with Al that goes haywire, the film quickly establishes that the eccentric director has no care for playing by the rules and is determined to make his final film with his own vision intact.

From the moment you meet Al it’s clear that he is dangerously close to going off the rails and it doesn’t take long before the documentary crew realise it. Al takes delight in toying with his actors, screaming awful things at them to make them emote in the way he wants on camera and willing to cross far too many boundaries to capture the right shot. He flat out terrorises leading lady Allison (Iliyana Apostolova), at one point spraying her with real pig’s blood without telling her he’s going to do so. That’s just one of the terrible things he does as he attempts to bring his vision to life.

Everybody Dies By The End
Credit: Children of Celluloid

There are a few problems with ‘Everybody Dies By The End’ but most of it can be tracked by to Tripp’s script. In presenting Al as a hugely unlikeable character, Tripp fails to flesh him out in any way that can make the audience even begin to try and understand his behaviour. Instead, the script is weighted down by frequent swearing with Vinny Curran shouting his lines rather than delivering any kind of nuanced performance. It’s distracting and ultimately serves to hamper the film.

It’s hard to comment much more on the performances. Iliyana Apostolova and Seton Edgerton are the strongest as Al’s stars who haven’t a clue what they’ve signed themselves up to. You have to question whether the characters would truly put up with the ordeal they endure, but the film does comment on the lengths that creative people will go to and the amount of stuff they’re willing to put up with in the name of art.

‘Everybody Dies By The End’ wasn’t the fun ride I was hoping it would be. It does provide some interesting commentary on the way directors can become obsessed and consumed with their projects but it doesn’t dive deeply enough to be a satisfying film. Feeling like a series of shock moments, particularly in the second half, the film coasts on trying to surprise the audience rather than giving them a story they can sink their teeth into. There is a good idea here in Tripp’s screenplay but sadly it’s never fully realised.

Cast: Vinny Curran, Ian Tripp, Iliyana Apostolova, Joshua Wyble, Brendan Cahalan, Seton Edgerton Directors: Ian Tripp & Ryan Schafer Writer: Ian Tripp Certificate: 18 Duration: 90 mins Released by: Children of Celluloid

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Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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