Entertainment Movies

Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'John Dies at the End' review: Comes pre-spoiled!

*1/2 (out of four)

A midnight movie that makes you wish you went to bed early, “John Dies at the End” falls into the no-man’s-land of movies you may need to be high to enjoy, but can barely follow when sober.

Throughout “John,” Dave (Chase Williamson) tells a newspaper reporter (Paul Giamatti) about the recent adventure in which Dave and his friend John (Rob Mayes) confront a bizarre drug known as “soy sauce.” He also describes an alien infestation that may or may not involve portals to other universes and random obnoxiousness from vaguely defined characters.

Adapting David Wong’s novel, writer-director Don Coscarelli (the superior “Bubba Ho-Tep”) aims for trippy but has almost nothing cool or fun to work with. “John Dies at the End” may be consistently weird, but it’s less like a unique vision of dark mysteries than the movie Richard Kelly (“Donnie Darko”) or Gregg Araki (“Kaboom”) might make if their talent took some time off.

The oddities in “John” occasionally earn a chuckle, but most of the film’s attitude is purely tiresome, from the visual gimmicks (Whoa, Dave’s talking into a bratwurst!) to dialogue like, “I want to shoot you so bad my dick’s hard.” Even those who delight in films that are desperate to be instant cult classics have to admit “John Dies at the End” is all condiments and no meat.

Arguably the strangest thing about this movie, though, is that the title’s acronym is JDATE—something the dating site is, well, unlikely to embrace.

 Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U



Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.


Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    The Lolla schedule is sort of like the NCAA tournament: there are millions of possible combinations, and it’s anyone’s guess what the winning picks will be. With that in mind, we make some bold predictions about how this year’s fest (returning to Grant Park Fri.-Sun.) will turn out. Breakout artist...

  • 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    The man on trial in the killing of Chicago police Officer Thor Soderberg hated police and surprised the officer as he changed out of his uniform at shift end and placed his duty belt down, a Cook County prosecutor alleged Monday.

  • Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Chicago aldermen on Monday called on police officials to provide information on how quickly rape kits are being tested by the state crime lab, part of a largely symbolic effort to determine whether a large backlog is hampering work to apprehend rapists.

  • Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    A South Side alderman's effort to tweak filmmaker Spike Lee for using "Chi-raq" as the title for a movie about Chicago violence fell flat Monday with his colleagues.

  • ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    Commonwealth Edison will hold energy fairs at satellite locations across the region Monday in order to get money to thousands of people struggling to pay their electricity bills in northern Illinois.

  • PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    These adorable pups are on the loose looking for a place to call home. They have a warrant out for their arrest. Their crime? Being irresistibly cute and cuddly. If you're interested in adopting any of these dogs, please visit www.pawschicago.org for more information.