Although based on a prose Web serial by David Wong, the pseudonym of Jason Pargin, John Dies at the End feels remarkably like the work of a sensibility frozen at about 1996. Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes combat supernatural happenings only they can see in Anytown, U.S.A., speaking in that sarcastic Kevin Smith/You Don't Know Jack voice so ubiquitous in the '90s, and share the smirking interplay usually reserved to imminently slapable twentysomething bros going through the drive-through in fast-food commercials. The garrulousness and temporally shuffled narrative is off-the-rack Tarantino; the bizarro mind-benders,"Lynchian"; the horror-comic asides combining the mundane and the fantastic,"Raimi-esque"; the grab bag borrowing of avant-garde techniques, straight up Natural Born Killers. The CGI is close to what you would encounter in PC gaming during the Clinton administration, and a "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)"–spoofed "wigger" shows up and says "ganked," which I am fairly certain is no longer in common parlance. I have concluded, then, that John Dies at the End is a product of a parallel universe where slacker flippancy never got old-- and, oh, it is terrible. Wong's stories snowballed in page-view popularity to the point of earning a proper publication by St. Martin's Press, and now this. Gathering an audience through online word of mouth, Wong has created a genuine cult phenomenon. Writer/director Don Coscarelli's film, however, groans with the strain of attempting to heave a cult object into being.