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.
—A.O. Scott New York Times
Is this an "indie" film with a deliberately messed-up chronology and an ambitious narrative you'll appreciate even more the second time through? Yes. Is this a deliberately trashy horror-comedy with a few decent jolts and several big laughs, best viewed with a gang of friends and a consciousness-altering agent of your choosing, parasitical or not? That too.
—Andrew O'Hehir Salon.com
A gleefully crummy buddy comedy that uses horror-movie conventions as catapults to hurl the audience down one "whoa, dude!" narrative wormhole after another.
—Dana Stevens Slate
Give or take the titular disclosure, John Dies at the End is a thoroughly unpredictable horror-comedy -- and an immensely entertaining one, too.
—Rob Nelson Variety
Coscarelli knows how to exploit horror/sci-fi tropes and adeptly meld a practical effect with a well-timed gag. Many could depict a man's disembodied moustache with the right degree of farcicality, but few can imbue it with such an oddball credibility.
—Charlie Schmidlin Chicago Sun Times
Before it trips over its own overly complex plot, before the comic leads have exhausted their modestly amusing repertoires, this odd stoner/sci fi creature feature blows out of the gate and threatens - for about thirty minutes - to blow your mind. Then it doesn't.
—Roger Moore Movie Nation
Coscarelli junkies won't be bothered by the film's herky-jerky rhythms. Go for the freaky fun of it, though a little soy sauce on the side sure wouldn't hurt.
—Peter Travers Rolling Stone
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.
—Scott Tobias NPR