The Nightmare Before Christmas: John Dies At The End

John Dies At The End is based on a book. I've never read that book. I don't recognise these people. Where am I?

Live reactions:

  • So we start off with a retelling of My Grandfather's Axe. Complete with neo-Nazi zombie. That's a new one.
  • Andy Wong is strung out and babbling about side effects.
  • Paul Giamatti appears across from him. I suspect his character (Arnie) is a hallucination.
  • Flashback? Cell phone call from John. John dies at the end, so we're not at the end yet.
  • Oh, hey, Clancy Brown. I loved him in Starship Troopers.
  • John tells him in code to grab his kit, some beers, and come over.
  • His kit appears to consist of a lot of weapons.
  • Some pretty girl came to John and Andy for help because her dead boyfriend is harassing her. I suspect she's evil.
  • Her basement freezer is filled with meat and body parts, and there's a distinct lack of ghost. Told you.
  • And now she turned into a pile of snakes. Hello, snakes!
  • Now the frozen meatstuffs have reformed into a flesh golem.
  • The flesh golem thinks they're Clancy Brown (must be blind, Clancy Brown is way more studly than these two losers) and they conveniently have him on their speed dial.
  • My man Clancy just dispelled a homunculus over the phone. Rock on.
  • Interlude with Arnie. Andy displays some psychic ability and we learn that Arnie has some fucked up dreams.
  • John had a band. They're not particularly good.
  • Magical Jamaican. He does the same dream reading thing Andy does later.
  • The Jamaican talks about nonlinear time and some other guff.
  • Amy's missing dog is named Bark Lee. I don't think I like Amy.
  • John is on a bad trip, going on about something being after them. Andy can't see anything, though the camera does show a spiderish thing to the audience briefly. It might be real.
  • Now John's talking about time.
  • The Jamaican gave John a drug. Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
  • Phone call from John, while John is sitting across from Andy.
  • That's the second time someone's called Andy "David". He said later that he changed his name, so I guess that's why. It seems an unnecessary thing.
  • This is why we don't carry drug syringes in our pockets, Andy. They stab us.
  • Eeeeeeeeee! Doug Jones! With his own face!
  • John died. And this isn't the end. I'm so confused.
  • Arnie again. Invisible monster that you can only see from the right vantage point (physically and mentally.)
  • Another call from John. After fighting a nonexistent cop who seems not to be held together particularly well, Andy buys a bratwurst so he can talk to John on that instead of his cell phone.
  • Andy is seeming less sane by the second.
  • That's okay, after he gets a second dose of the drug the existent (probably) cop shows up and is crazy too.
  • Bark Lee saves Andy from a burning building, after we learn that Andy saved himself from being shot by going back in time to the shell's manufacture.
  • Then some dude named White, who is evidently possessed by a swarming thing that hatched from the Jamaican, shows up and kidnaps Andy after being shot several times.
  • Existent detective torches White, but turns out to be possessed by the same thing. Which is weird.
  • Also gross, because he pops like a balloon when it hatches from him.
  • John, Andy, and Amy manage to torch existent detective and their friend who was also possessed.
  • They return to the ghost door, which Amy the amputee opens with her phantom limb. That's actually kind of cool.
  • Inside is Doug Jones again. And Clancy Brown.
  • Something something Korrock.
  • Now we're in an alternate world peopled by breasts. Breasted by peoples. Breasts.
  • Let's try that again.
  • Now we're in an alternate world where the people mostly don't seem to have heard of clothes.
  • They have, however, heard of creepy-ass masks.
  • And they have a temple with pictures of Dave and John on the walls.
  • Divergent timelines. They had a genius who did creepy stuff with biological engineering.
  • The day he died one of his creations (Korrock, a biological computer) achieved self-awareness and, as is inevitably the case, became a tyrannical despot and killed everyone who opposed him.
  • The remaining people are dedicated to the cause of Korrock and wish to spread him as far as possible, including to alternate universes.
  • Bark Lee sacrifices himself to kill Korrock. Or at least give him a weird trip. It's not very clear.
  • Arnie turns out to be the ghost of a dead black reporter, who disappears once Andy stops hallucinating that he's pasty white Paul Giamatti.
  • This final scene is incredibly annoying. It's intercut with the credits for no reason whatsoever.
  • John and Andy go through another portal and find a world that needs saving from weird leech things. I don't think they're going to help.
  • This is the end, and John doesn't die. I'm so confused.

Post-movie postmortem: Huh. That was an experience. It seems to mostly hang together and form a coherent narrative, though the movie is not particularly interested in providing explanations. I think...I need to watch it again.

Four stars.