At 10, The World’s End is Nowhere Near Done

Edgar Wright’s conclusion to the Cornetto Trilogy grows funnier and more soulful with time

When Edgar Wright’s The World’s End opened in theaters 10 years ago, it brought to the end one of the great series in cinematic history, the Cornetto Trilogy. 

The trilogy, which begin with Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and was followed by Hot Fuzz, is linked by the creative team of Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost taking on different film genres—plus the cameo of a Cornetto cone, a British ice cream treat.

While the film’s tale of a pub crawl that ends up as an apocalyptic crisis hasn’t lost any of its laugh-out-loud humor, its soulful meditation on growing up and older has become even more potent in the last decade. 

Watch The World’s End on iTunes or Amazon!

The World's End | Alien Cyborg Bathroom Brawl

Edgar Wright on the set of The World's End

The last of the Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End was one of Wright’s early film ideas. Wright tells Den of Geek that “when I was 21, I wrote a script about teenagers on a pub crawl,” a plot based on Wright’s own experience. According to SlashFilm, the script (which was named Crawl) “was influenced more by movies like Dazed and Confused than The Stepford Wives. Later, during a promotion tour for Hot Fuzz, Wright told SlashFilm how he began to wonder: “What would happen if those kids had grown up and then tried to recreate that situation as responsible adults, as a way of chasing their former glories?"

While Shaun of the Dead takes on the zombie genre and Hot Fuzz is a send-up of action films, The World’s End introduces its alien invasion elements in a strikingly fresh way. Cinemablograhpy writes, “What’s remarkable about The World’s End’s setup to this genre turn is that the story does not indicate that it is going to be a sci-fi film until it becomes one.” For Wright, the sci-fi elements and the story’s personal tone are intertwined. “That whole strain of smart sci-fi movies—what I like to call the 'quiet invasion' genre—seemed like the perfect way of looking at that bittersweet feeling...You feel alienated from the place you came from. You don't recognize the place you grew up in anymore," Wright told SlashFilm.

Simon Pegg in The World's End

Considered both a comic masterpiece and, according to Space, one of the best alien invasion films, The World’s End stands on its own as a film worth revisiting. Pegg recently told NME that it was probably his favorite of the Cornetto Trilogy for being “the darkest of the three [and] the most challenging.” Noting that “Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are at their best, Edgar Wright's direction is masterful, and the film is as sharp a genre pastiche as Shaun or Hot Fuzz,” GarmeRant wrote that “The World's End deserves a look back…Returning to it a decade after its release to see how things have changed is within its spirit.”