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Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: We're talking about a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't. Based on the novel by author David Wong, John Dies at the End was adapted and directed by horror auteur Don Coscarelli. [Magnet] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 27
  2. Negative: 7 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 31, 2013
    80
    It lays waste to linear narration, thematic coherence, psychological plausibility and just about everything else you might expect to encounter. It zigs, zags and trips over its own feet and on its own home-brewed hallucinogens. It's a ridiculous, preposterous, sometimes maddening experience, but also kind of a blast.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Jan 9, 2013
    80
    Give or take the titular disclosure, John Dies at the End is a thoroughly unpredictable horror-comedy -- and an immensely entertaining one, too.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Feb 7, 2013
    75
    John Dies at the End isn't deep. But it is deeply amusing, in the sickest possible way.
  4. Reviewed by: James White
    Mar 18, 2013
    60
    Gonzo freakiness in such doses that cult status is practically ensured.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 24, 2013
    55
    Once the colorful anecdotes sprawl out into an actual narrative, the film gets convoluted and loud, amplifying the weirdness without doing much to clarify it.
  6. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jan 9, 2013
    50
    A supernatural action comedy that can never live up to its exciting opening scenes, Don Coscarelli's John Dies at the End mixes horror-tinged mayhem with smart-alec laughs but loses momentum early and gets bogged down in exposition.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Jan 22, 2013
    10
    John Dies at the End is a product of a parallel universe where slacker flippancy never got old-and, oh, it is terrible.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A cautionary tale of the real secret of the universe, the title is not really a spoiler but more of a "side effect" of the film's supernatural narcotic called Soy Sauce, giving us a glimpse into a weird, exciting, and horrifying Earth where all that stands against ultimate destruction is David Wong and his friend John. Expand
  2. May 28, 2013
    9
    A madcap romp with a thin veneer of philosophy, that when imbibed with liberal amounts of mind altering substances is both viscerally pleasing, and intellectually engaging. Expand
  3. Apr 2, 2013
    8
    I would describe this film as an entertaining ride of weirdness and oddball humor. It was made on a shoestring budget evident by the cheesy VFX and rather fake blood and gore stuff, but it adds to the charm (as it did for Evil Dead). Don't expect it to be as brilliant or profound as say Donnie Darko but be open to it and give it a fair chance and you'll get a fun 100 min experience! Expand
  4. Jan 25, 2013
    7
    A quirky and unusual comedy/horror it's not anything special except it's really different. It should hit cult icon status. Oh BTW I never read the books. I did hear there were issues between the movie leaving a lot out. If your in the mood for something different and a comedy then this is for you. The spiders bit cracked me up. Expand
  5. Dec 19, 2013
    7
    This is a weird, wonderful film which will be either loved or hated. It you like things such as Shaun of the Dead, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, or Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, you will love this one. Filled with comedy, bizarre supernatural occurrences, and miscellaneous mischief, this film is very enjoyable. Collapse
  6. Sep 18, 2013
    7
    John Dies At The End is a quirky, funny and drug filled movie. The film revolves around a new drug, called Soy Sauce, which alters the way people interact with the world. The film does well at introducing you to the strange behaviors and possibilities allowed by this concept. First and foremost, this movie is not for those who dislike violence, nudity, and/or profanity. This movie takes advantage of all three in ways that while clever could be off-putting to some. The movie keeps a nice pace throughout, never boring the viewer, but does include a number of strange events that will put some viewers off by the strange and somewhat childish humor. For those who can look past what some would call vulgar humor, the movie is a well paced, funny film focused on friendship and the universe (odd pairing, I know--it'll all explain itself throughout the film). With that said, I was very disappointed at the ending, which dragged past the clear solution, and left me a bit confused. If the film had ended just a tad earlier, I would have been much more satisfied with the movie.

    In regards to the film's technical aspects the video is very well done. It is clear and well saturated with fantastic detail in the blacks and the shadows throughout the film. For a movie which takes advantage of both the heavily dark and heavily bright scenes, this is important as both provide seemingly endless amounts of texture whether in creatures, settings, or the characters themselves. At times though I found the CGI to be a bit over the top and it didn't always mesh well with the world they had created. This can be overlooked due to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the film.

    The audio was presented nicely in Dolby Digital 5.1 featuring a strong LFE (subwoofer) track, that extends nicely throughout the scenes creating a sense of realism to the many odd noises heard. It incorporates a wide dynamic range from simple dialogue, to loud explosions and soft whispers. Nonetheless, I never was blown out of my chair, and was able to keep the volume at the same level without any discomfort.

    Parents, in no way is this movie appropriate for children. Featuring topless women, male genetalia, a lot of violence, extensive profanity and the occasional racial slur, as well as drug use, this film puts it outside the realm of what I would comfortably recommend for any child under 15-17 years old.

    As a whole though, the film was a fun romp that never takes itself too seriously. While the premise of the film is far fetched, the secondary characters are often a bit dull, the film as a whole is fun, fast-paced, and enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone in need of a good laugh who can look past the sometimes juvenile humor.
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  7. Apr 12, 2013
    2
    I went into this move with high hopes. I love quirky. I like horror comedy. I like non-standard narration. I like Paul Giamatti. The problem was that this never added up to anything. It was a series of gaping plot holes strung together for no apparent reason.

    It did make me chuckle occasionally, but more in the I-can't-believe-something-so-absurd-is-happening way than something actually being funny.

    Again, I have not read the books. I can only assume that this series of events had some sort of internal logic in them.
    Expand

See all 15 User Reviews