Every review has it's origins & I really should give a shout out to the Queen of Bflix for this low budget goodness. Had it not been for her, I dunno how quickly I would've come across Devereaux's latest but am very grateful to her for introducing what may be my new favorite film (or at least hot cult item) this summer. I would also like to extend a serious round of applause to Trashie and Woo for giving this film it's due praise as well as writing entertaining, thought-provoking reviews which commanded my undivided attention. Believe me when I say all three had a huge influence on my recent purchase & the review I'm about to unleash.
For some reason, I usually find films like this somewhat offensive or a tad too campy when they try to satirize religious zealots or cult members. Much like the commonly-known sub genre we call torture porn nowadays, there should be( if there isn't already) a separate genre for religious horror films. Although the category may a bit too broad & could probably use rightful clarification, there are a whole slew of films that come to mind when I think of frightening dramas which hold these elements. We should be so fortunate if we've all had the chance to explore some of the better titles however such as Bill Paxton's Frailty or Devereaux's End Of The Line.
Let it be known that I'm not a follower of any specific, organized religions at the present & nor do I subscribe to the hypocrisy that most of them cling to like prized possessions. However, I was raised in a Protestant household with adults who truly embraced this faith with all their hearts & proved that living a good life is the ultimate example of a great sermon. Rather than preaching from the pulpit to strangers, they lived a life of doing good & avoiding the trappings of harming their fellow man. It's an honest-to-God blessing if one can confidently state they are here to honor, worship, & live for the glory of a higher power while doing good for the sake of your fellow man.
Sadly, I'm riding the fence when it comes to the spiritual matters of the heart although I clearly identify how certain beliefs are inevitably associated with utter horror throughout the course of history. Perhaps no other religion has been associated with bloodshed more than the Christian faith which can be held responsible for some of the worst tragedies known to mankind & this tradition doesn't seem to ever completely cease unfortunately. It doesn't surprise nor completely shock me anymore to see films like this which capitalize on brutal murders committed by these frightening homicidal maniacs intend on doing the work of their God.
On the same token, I think I should also set the record straight here. These cult members or religious zealots are, in fact, homicidal murderers irregardless of their reasoning or unjustly suspicions. According to the Christian doctrine, man shall not kill. The lord sayeth vengeance is mine although I'm not going to give you the Samuel Jackson monologue here. In light of that, there is no passage in any version of the Christian Bible that I've ever read which elucidates that killing your fellow man will save their souls from eternal damnation. Thus, anyone who misinterprets the word of God & tries to use The Bible as a means to torture or kill is clearly a maniac in every sense of the word no matter what he/she calls themselves.
Devereaux's horror film angers me & shocks although I do think a lot of the film. It provokes me in a way that most horror films do not which I find most impressive. I do tip my hat to the man for his innovative concepts & the near flawless execution of a grounded story which unfolds within 90 some odd minutes. It's breath-taking, graphic, & suspenseful which are key elements that most horror films these days seem to lack. Modern horror film directors could do themselves a huge favor & take notes as this is a prime example of horror done correct. That's not to say that Devereaux doesn't have a wicked sense of humor when dealing with such dark subject matter. He clearly does.
The film centers on a group of young people boarding a subway train late at nite who have to fend for their lives after the train suddenly stops. Throughout the film, they are attacked by a mob of religious cult members who are determined to save souls for God by killing off the innocents, the doubters, & the unclean. Each member of this cult is ordered by means of a pager device to kill as many people as possible before the predicted onslaught of demons manage to overtake the Earth. As anyone could easily guess, it's going to a long night indeed & there's a great chance that no one is getting out of this subway tunnel alive.
If I have one small complaint other than being a tad bit put-off by the storyline, I would have to say the the acting is uneven at best. I found myself shivering in between the laughs although I don't think some of his material was meant to be laugh-inducing necessary. Somehow, I can't see anyone being truly joyful after seeing innocent people being hacked or stabbed to death even in the modern horror films. Having said that, the performances range here from being campy to over-the-top with very little middle ground. Perhaps the most funny, yet deeply disturbing montage was none other than seeing the nut bag televangelist preach about saving souls while holding a bloodied crucifix dagger.
Perhaps even more unsettling in my honest opinion are the dream sequences in the opening montage which foretell of the dark events that will occur strikes me as most disturbing. Although many would simply overlook their dreams or nightmares as just envisions of paranoia, I have always been one to recognize them as oracles if you will. Whereas the suspicions of a near future Armageddon are obviously eerie for the most part, I can deal with that so much easier than a dark premonition. Unfortunately, some of the religious fundamentalism is a bit heavy handed at times although this doesn't hamper a great storyline. I somehow get the impression that it's all played up for a major laugh in the grand scheme of things.
Without question, End Of The Line is a great film for any real horror fan & I can't possibly imagine anyone feeling the least cheated in the gore department. As for fans of more polished horror flicks which are CG heavy, you may fair better by avoiding this one. Unpleasant dreams, my friends.
The writer/producer/director of the deliciously entertaining SLASHERS, Maurice Devereaux, strikes again! It took Devereaux nearly two years to find a distributor for his 2007 film END OF THE LINE and this flick was worth the wait--it's a real doozy. While it might not be up to the high comedic standards set by its predecessor it's still a great piece of independent film making. It hits the ground running with a good and proper scare just to let us know that we're … more
We have all seen the news, about certain religious people who have suddenly exhibited violent behavior towards others and even towards themselves. Such news often give me the shivers when supposed decent people become driven to exhibit brutal behavior in what they believe is the way to their salvation. Writer/director Maurice Devereaux’s “End of the Line” explores such behavior in a very efficient manner; all the while feeding our fears of the presence of evil. The … more
In this unsettling and creepy thriller, Karen (Ilona Elkin), a young nurse who works in a psychiatric ward, boards the last subway train of the night only to have it stop suddenly in the middle of the tunnel. As those around her are brutally murdered, Karen and a handful of survivors must face supernatural forces, homicidal religious cult members, as well as their own fears and suspicions of Armageddon, in order to survive.