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End of the Line (movie)

A horror film by Canadian writer, director and producer Maurice Devereaux

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Endings & Beginnings

  • Sep 9, 2009

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.
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December 28, 2010
I second that shout out, her review put me on to this as well.
October 03, 2009
since you can't get the dvd to play forward, I reckon this one moves to the "end of the line", aye? yepster, methinks so..
October 03, 2009
It kinda sucks as this was one of th best films I've purchased in some time. On the second viewing, it gets stuck right in the middle of the film. I will prolly buy another one sometime on amazon or maybe purchase one from a used DVD bin if I get that lucky again. I will hold on to the film for now in hopes it may work again sometime. Maybe it was my DVD player as I don't think removing the sticker on the disc itself would cause so much trouble.
September 11, 2009
Queenie's always great for finding obscure horror gems. Also, I usually refer to horror films and suspense films with religious or mystical elements as "occult thrillers". Roman Polanski first coined the phrase when he did "Rosemary's Baby" back in '68 and since then it's been a pretty common trend. I even created a list of them on Amazon and Queenie's got a list of a similar theme here on Lunch.
September 11, 2009
I couldn't agree with you more. Queenbflix rightfully earns her title as the reigning Queen of obscure or underground gems. I do enjoy the so-called Occult thrillers which harken back to classics like the original Rosemary's Baby or The Omen. Although there have been some not-so satisfying films which could fit into that classicifcation, this was one of the more groundbreaking entries I've seen in quite some time. I might actually make a list myself soon. ;-)
September 17, 2009
I'll have to check this film out sometime.
September 17, 2009
Lemme know whatcha think man.
September 23, 2009
...and my title is? I forgot what it is, Orlok...refresh my memory? ;-)
September 23, 2009
It has something to do with "filthy" or " basterd" if I remember it correctly, right? LMAO
September 23, 2009
"Dirtiest reviewer on Lunch"!
September 23, 2009
Oh, I almost forgot. I dunno if I'm in the running for this prize or not but I've written some rather sordid reviews. ;-0 Haha! We should all aspire to such greatness.
September 23, 2009
I'm going for most bloated reviews... LOL! No, not really, but I've just noticed that they are now limiting the length of reviews to a specific word count, which for me will be a problem once I get going on reviews 40-44.
September 10, 2009
Excellent review, Ceno. we rated it about the same, I gave it a 4.5 and rounded it down for some scenes that were a little heavy-handed and I am with you that some of the acting appears too forced. I really liked the way you approached this review, you gave a background of yourself, voiced out how you felt on some of the film's key scenes. This is a great movie!

Thanks for the shout out!
September 10, 2009
Hey Woo!! I'm glad you liked it. After reading the three reviews by some of my favorite lunchers, writing a review for EOTL seemed like a tough act to follow & these were some pretty big shoes to fill. Having said that, I'm flattered that you enjoyed the review. As I was just telling Nick, I found it very difficult not to include a background of myself & just keep it a straight-forward flick review. I don't think I'm capable of holding back when it comes to subject matter such as this. I really do like this film & even toyed with the idea of giving it 5 stars for having the temerity to tackle such controversial subject matter. I definitely hope Devereaux will make more films soon.
September 11, 2009
me too. Try to check out "Slashers" also. I need to review that one, it's in a class of its own, (a little inferior to End of the Line) it is good!
September 11, 2009
I will give that a try or maybe Lady Of The Lake. Those are the only three I can find of his on ammie for right now. I dunno if either would be near as good as EOTL but I'm sure they would worthy of viewing.
September 10, 2009
I loved it. I especially liked the way you worked your personal views into it. It's the perfect vehicle for the sort of thing. I'm so used to what's normally called "bad acting" in low budget films and I have seen so much worse that I can really appreciate the higher quality in Devereau's film. It's a vast improvement over his own SLASHERS, which IS played for laughs. I've only listened to a small part of the commentary track but I believe that the storyline was his reaction to 9/11. Now I'm going to ask you the question that everyone asks about the movie, specifically the last shot where Karen sort of smiles as a the camera moves in tight an a shadow is cast across her face. Why do YOU think she's smiling? Devereaux gives a clue in the commentary but other than that he's not talking.
September 10, 2009
You know, I so wanted to write a review without incorporating much of myself into it if such a thing is possible. I just wanted to observe & report initially but I don't think that's an easy task by any means. Overall, I'm glad that you recommended this one to me & I will have to re-visit it soon as there are some questions I still need answered. Somehow I'm getting the odd impression that Karen dreamed the whole thing. I kept asking myself throughout the whole film if everything we saw was just a figment of Karen's nightmare so to speak or if this was truly meant to be a film about the apocalyspe.Either way, I kind of liked the way Devereaux didn't wrap the film up & present it to us with a big red ribbon. I haven't listened to the commentary yet but that should be interesting. Just a question for you. Do you relate to the character Karen in this film by chance? Somehow I see bits of you in her character although I've never met you. Am I way off on that one? :-)
September 10, 2009
No, I didn't really relate to her, but the name thing definitely made me pay more attention to the character. I tried to keep my review of the subject matter as neutral as possible in this case. You'll notice that I completely left the religious aspect out of it. This was intentional for several reasons, one of which was because I wanted it to come as a surprise to you guys when it unfolded--but Trashie kind of killed that. And one of the other reasons was because I didn't want to turn anyone off to seeing it because of it's subject matter. Likewise I tried to warn against the baby scene without spelling out exactly what happened--be warned, but be surprised is what I was going for.
September 10, 2009
I had wondered if that was one of the reasons that you had enjoyed the film initially but clearly that's not the case. I'm glad you didn't prep me for the film in advance as I think I can appreciate it much more after having experienced it firsthand. The baby scene was somewhat disturbing & even a wee bit campy but not overly shocking. As I once told Woo, I figured it was just a matter of time before some film would exploit child murder which might include throwing babies against the wall, killing children, or even eating them. More than anything, I'm glad that Devereaux didn't go overboard with that one. It was brutal for sure but not gratuitous per se. I might go ahead & watch the filmagain tonite as it's still fresh on my mind. I was halfway tempted to initially postpone my review until I'd seen the film atleast twice but something compelled me to go on with my review anyway. I'm truly glad you loved it. Hopefully I can crank out another one soon which will be on par with that one. Thank you.
September 10, 2009
A lot of people found it highly offensive and it was the reason that it took him 2 whole years to get a distributor for the film. He refused to cut it though.
September 10, 2009
I don't offend to easily or maybe it's just the mere fact I try to keep an open mind for the most part. I don't believe in censorship or burning books by any means & just can't see myself subscribing to that narrow-mindedness exhibited by a lot of folks. I know how difficult it could be to sell an idea like that to studios especially if it's an indie film or a low budget project. It's extremely frustrating these days to make a horror film that worth a viewer's time without having to worry about excessive violence, gore, or overt controversy. It's even more redtape to actually find a distributor even when you're film isn't especially explicit. Sadly, all the studios seem to want are PG-13 horror flix or dreaded re-makes of old horror flicks which really don't need any modification. I salute Devereaux for sticking to his guns & not cutting his piece of art. He definitely has earned my respect. ;-)
September 11, 2009
Mine too. Makes me wonder even more what got cut out of LADY OF THE LAKE.
September 11, 2009
Good question. It's almost hard to say I suppose. I've seen films picked up by U.S. distributors before only missing a few seconds of footage & then there are films like Murder-Set-Pieces which Lions Gate released that are santized by almost 23 minutes. Or the original My Bloody Valentine was slashed by 9 minutes of rather brutal footage. By the time that many cuts are made, you could really ruin someone else's artwork or truncate the meqaning of it altogether.. This is why I don't subscribe to censorship.
September 11, 2009
I subscribe to self-censorship. There are times when I can understand why it's there and times when I think it's only there for the money and that's when it tends to make me uncomfortable. Devereaux's had a purpose so it didn't bother me. Of course I realize that my sensibilities aren't what's used to set the standard. Although frankly I think they should be, she admitted modestly.
September 11, 2009
At the end of the day, I wish I were still given the option to decide what's right for me or what isn't. I hate the mre idea that someone else gets to pick & choose what should be deemed appropriate for my eyes. For granted, there are certainly some things in the artworld which I regret ever having seen & some things I could've just as well done without but I'm still happy that I was able to feed my curiousity nonetheless. I think you are correct. Some times it's nothing more than just a marketing ploy to make a bunch of money off of unsuspecting crowds which is a total bummer. However, I should learn to respect censhorship to some extent I suppose. ;-)
September 11, 2009
To some extent it is a necessary evil. At least when dealing with those innocent children we're always hearing about. It's hilarious to hear my grandson Benji get on his soapbox about how his mom shouldn't have taken him to see R and Pg-13 rated movies. He's right of course because they scared both him and his brother to death. She should have started out with much tamer things than with what she did. SHAUN OF THE DEAD isn't much for us, but for 5 year olds it's pretty scary stuff. Ditto ALIEN VS PREDATOR and EVIL DEAD 2.
September 26, 2009
Yeah, I can definitely see ur point. I was actually mad at some parents for taking their kids to see Pan's Labyrinth who weren't much older than your grandkids were. Naturally, some of the parents were highly enraged that their kids would see such violence on the screen. I want to reach out & slap them. Don't they realize that kiddie films usually don't fit under the R-rated definition? Geez! So, wow! You're a grandmom, eh? You don't look old enuff to have any grandkids Karen. ;=)
September 26, 2009
Never believe the pictures you see on the internet! That was some time ago. Yeah, people are pretty stupid. They see the tv spots that sell the film as a fantasy and they don't look at anything else. And of course whoever seels them the tickets isn't going to warn them off, if they did they'd probably lose their job.
September 26, 2009
The world is full of stupid people making stupid mistakes. I really wish the box office would tell these idiots in advance that these films are certainly not for kids as they contain much objectionable material. I can stop dreaming anytime though, right? Heh.
September 26, 2009
I took my daughter to R-rated movies, but I was careful about what they were and she had been brought up on classic horror movies. Mostly she went to see kung fu movies.
September 29, 2009
My mom let me see some R-rated flicks (especially the classics) but there were some she actually marched me right out of. Naturally, I would go back & watch them sooner or later though. Some later than others. ;-)
September 29, 2009
There are lots that are pkay, but let's face it some are just not right for little kids and what that is can depend on the kid.
September 29, 2009
I think it all boils down to how well you know your kid & their limitations. Some kids can handle it better than others obviously. I could deal with The Exorcist, Night Of The Living Dead, & Psycho when I was about 10 or so whereas some kids may have needed a few more years. I was also able to see some of the old Bruce Lee films but my mom didn't want me watching something gratuitous in the sexual dept or a blood bath. I think it would help a great deal if parents screened these films first before allowing their children to watch them. That way, you kinda get an idea of how to prepare your kids when they do actually watch them. Or you can skip the film altogether with your kid if it's totally inappropiate. After all, who should know better than the parent?
September 29, 2009
I think it's better too if you watch some of this stuff with them at home. That way you can gauge how they are taking it and cut it off if they seem to be bothered by it. I remember when we were playing DVD clips of Jackson's KING KONG for the boys when it first came out on DVD. I looked over and their eyes were popping out of their heads. Mind you they weren't watching the whole movie--no way. Those natives were just too much for a kid. It was the scene of Kong and the T-rexs that did them in.
More End of the Line (movie) reviews
review by . May 31, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
review by . July 14, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: Do You Follow Because of What You Know Or Because of What You Believe?
   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 …
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Apocalyptic horror flick from Maurice Devereaux ranks as one of the best flix of the decade.
Quick Tip by . February 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Combines religious fanatics with the subway system, always a winning combination when you're talking about apocalyptic horror.
About the reviewer
Brian ()
Ranked #28
I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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About this movie


Maurice Devereaux (writer)

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.

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Genre: Horror, slasher
DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
Runtime: 95 minutes

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