End of the Line (2006)
Directed by Maurice Devereaux
I think I found the new trend in horror movies. Not zombies, or remakes or something French. Nope.
It's horror movies that take place on a train.
Mark my words. 2009 will be filled with killers on trains that attack people.
We've already got a taste of it with The Midnight Meat Train and a few others are coming out like Train and Stag Night.
So it's important I get on the bandwagon and watch this new trend in it's infancy.
Hence, I watched a Canadian horror machine called End of the Line, a very awesome flick that will probably be the instigator of this new sub genre's progeny.
2 minutes in I was flinching from some quick scares. Seriously. I actually got scared and I don't scare easily. When you're a jaded viewer like me, this is very hard to do.
But End of the Line, opens freakin strong, blasts some WTF, adds in some serious bloody splatter and ends with a whimper (it's only drawback).
End of the Line is high velocity fun, stopping at the right moments for scares and gore that it's destined to be a cult classic for the 21st century.
I wish it kept going.
Boring Plot-O-Matic (from the official site)
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.
The quick cut to something frightening is a staple in horror films. And the first half hour is filled with suspense and goosbumpy madness. You know director Maurice Devereaux wants you to jump out of your seat by creating some quick glimpses of the scary. And he does this by establishing the life of our main final girl Karen.
But it's the train that's the other "character" we have to get use to in this vague Canadian city that has some a metro. If you live in a city with a subway or transit system and have taken the train late at night, there's a little bit of you that's screaming "I'm fuckin scared".
End of the Line taps that piece and doesn't let go.
The train stops mid-ride and we get intro-ed into the many passengers who will turn out to be our Scooby Gang vent on survival.
1.) Final Girl Karen
2.) Hipster Mike
3.) Jock Neil
4.) Guido Mike
5.) Virgin Sarah
6.) Raver Julie
It's an eclectic group of ordinaries that now have to be all Kill Bill in order to survive the night. Nobody stuck out as somebody I could root for and cared about. They were all designed to be slightly lovable and turned into cult corpse fodder.
Oh. Did I mention there was a killer cult from God on this train too?
And that's the middle of the movie. After the cult gets a message on their beepers (they still have those?) they get all slaughtery and start attacking and killing everybody on the train.
The scenes are utterly brutal, as they go all stabby with their crucifixes that turn into knives.
As our gang runs like hell, they meet up with some transit workers and work out a plan and explain motive and yada yada yada.
The cult members (in matching uni's) are a cross between a David Koresh imitation and some Christian conservative, Republican carnies. The brainwashed citizens are insane as they believe all should be "saved".
The kill scenes are savage. Some OJ multiple stabs, throat slashing, a sword head decap and 1 that even made me cringe.
The cult take one of their own and multiple stab a 3rd trimester pregnant woman and her husband. The scene concludes as they lay the newborn with their parents, with the infant semi moving. Wow. On the fucked up scale, that went off the charts.
More chasing and huffing and puffing and a few more axes to the head. Even kids went all mental and tried to kill our scoobies. Wow, there was more kid and infant-cide in this flick than I thought I would see.
The negatives are clearly nitpicks but took away that 1 extra spinkick that would have made this into the spinkick HOF. The movie's premise hinted on the supernatural, then steered me towards some cult crazies then went back to demonology. I wasn't sure if the vagueness of it all was thought bubbled intentional.
I wanted it to stick with just being about some fundamentalist cult crazies but it went waaaaay off which kinda made me say "Huh?". This is further amplified by the ending which was a blah huh.
Add in the fact that our final girl was sorta hot, kicked some ass in the end but her personality needed a total recall. I mean all the characters did.
One of the evil cult baddies was a sexual pervert serial semi rapist. He added some ha ha's and some evilness but just didn't look menacing to make me want this revenge served cold.
End of the Line is the Canadian version of The Midnight Meat Train (which took home the #2 spot on my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008). As I'm not sure what year this falls into (06 or 07 or 08) it would have definitely made my top 10.
The vagueness of the chaos that erupted and characterology was my only double fault but everything else was super awesome terrific.
I am putting End of the Line posthumously as one of the top horror films of 2008 or 07 or 06.
Now stand clear of the closing doors.
Gore-ipedia (if you want to be shocked don't read)
Sword Head decap (gorehounds rejoice!)
Pregnant woman stabbings
Ax to the head
Hammer to the head
Knife to the head
Nude-ipedia (because you like boobies)
Some boobie cleavage
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
I forgot to mention that the Canadians are rivalring the French, Aussies and Brits in ushering the new wave of kick ass horror. Maurice Deveraux also directed the straight to DVD Slashers (a reality game show horror movie) which I vaguely remember watching.
It'll be interesting to see what he does next.
If movies like End of the Line is whats to come from him, I say "All Aboard!"
Check out the trailer below.
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