Another movie everyone seems to like but me. Sorry, but I found this
subway-set splatter fest to be dull and uninspired.
Released in 2007, the Montreal lensed END OF THE LINE
is one of most highly acclaimed Canadian horror films of recent years.
Written, produced, directed and edited by Maurice Devereaux, who
previously made the low budget features LADY OF THE LAKE and SLASHERS
(both released to DVD on the Fangoria Presents label), it won
major awards at various prestigious film festivals, including Scotland’s
Dead by Dawn and Montreal’s Fantasia, and was well received on DVD. I,
however, contend that it sucks.
In the bowels of a subway station a young woman commits
suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming train. Turns out the woman
was a mental patient under the care of the psychiatric nurse Karen, and
was unwisely let out early.
Karen boards the same subway late one night, only to be
stuck when the train breaks down. She meets up with other stranded
subway riders, among them a seemingly kindly old woman. The latter,
however, turns out to quite different from how she initially appeared
when she gleefully stabs a man to death in front of Karen.
The woman is part of a freaky cult called the “Voice of
Eternal Hope,” who ride the subways and kill--through which the victims
are apparently “saved”--in preparation for the end of the world. Mayhem
ensues as Karen and the other passengers are pursued through subway
tunnels by the psychopathic cultists, leaving several mutilated corpses
in their wake.
The real horror occurs when a non-cultist
manages to make it to an above-ground subway station, where he discovers
that the Eternal Hopers’ reign of terror extends far beyond the subway…
Good things? There are a few, including some (early)
moments of real suspense, an unforgettably demented bit involving an
aborted fetus (which apparently freaked out many festival-goers) and
some interesting concepts about the nature of religion--such as the idea
that supernatural manifestations should be seen as hopeful rather than
scary because they prove the existence of an afterlife. The
writer-producer-director Maurice Devereaux belabors the film’s spiritual
dimension at some length on the DVD making-of featurette, but the film
ultimately doesn’t contain much that wasn’t already covered in recent
subway-set slashers like CREEP
and NIGHT TRAIN.
Bad acting is a constant annoyance, as are substandard
special effects (note, for instance, the human flesh that rips and tears
extremely easily), and Devereaux’s repetitive one-note script certainly
doesn’t help matters. Another problem, albeit one that can’t be blamed
on Devereaux or his collaborators, is that the supernatural twist ending
is given away by the DVD cover art!
END OF THE LINE
Maurice Devereaux Productions Inc./Critical Mass Releasing Inc.
Director/Producer/Screenwriter/Editor: Maurice Devereaux
Cinematography: Denis-Noel Mostert
Cast: Ilona Elkin, Nicolas Wright, Neil Napier, Emily Shelton, Tim Rozon,
Nina M. Fillis, Joan McBride, Danny Blanco Hall, John Vamvas, Robin
Wilcock, Kent McQuaid, Robert Vezina, David Schaap, Lori Graham,
Christine Lan, Aaron Grunfeld, David L. McCallum