I recently saw this at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film
Festival as part of their midnight Supercharged Cinema films. This was
it's USA premiere of the latest offering from Canadian horror genre
director and writer Maurice Devereaux. It's your typical horror-slasher
film that takes several over the top chances that many viewers may find
extremely offensive. This is the story of a young woman who after a
particularly rough day at work as a nurse in the mental ward of a
hospital gets on her usual subway ride home at night only to be met by
a chain of events that lead to a night of horror. The evangelistic
leader of a popular religious congregation sees the apocalyptic end of
man and Armageddon is eminent so he orders his followers to save souls
in his own unique way. The whole plot is so far fetched that it
detracts from it being a truly scary movie. Lots of gore and mayhem.
Teens and people who can't get enough of slasher type movies will
probably like it. I'll give it a generous 6.0 out of 10 but I wouldn't
recommend it to a general audience and it would be a strong R rating..
Bleak and chilling stuff.
Director Maurice Devereaux proves himself a talent worth keeping an eye
on as he demonstrates here. He mines the darker aspects of human nature
for some true horror. Very late at night a handful of subway riders are
forced to band together after a deeply religious group, believing the
apocalypse is under way, determine to "save" others by murdering them.
"End of the Line" really does have a doom-laden feel, putting its own
spin on the idea of "villains" who kill to serve a grander purpose. We
know from the outset that this is going to be a dark journey. The film
begins with a shock sequence and continues to deliver sequences like
this for another 90 minutes or so, always very efficiently. While in
one sense it's formula driven by having a number of potential victims
getting picked off regularly, it's not entirely predictable. The subway
setting is a good one, and Devereaux and company milk it for all the
suspense and atmosphere that they can get out of it. They don't allow
the characters to ever really feel safe, and portray these religious
zealots as a truly single-minded bunch that will not be swayed from
their purpose. The result is a genuinely spooky film that succeeds at
having the best of both worlds - it's both intellectually stimulating
and a good visceral experience. Gore hounds will be pleased with the
amount of blood letting and the lack of mercy shown by the antagonists.
The acting is very sincere from the no-name cast, which helps. Ilona
Elkin is appealing as the main character Karen, a nurse who's had a bad
day and is about to have a worse night. Making the strongest impression
among the supporting cast is Robin Wilcock as the ultra-creepy Patrick.
And really helping the film is a strong music score by Martin Gauthier.
Overall, it's a good and creepy horror film well worth checking out.