End Of The Line

End Of The Line


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Demons on the subway and Christian fundamentalists, with Judgment Day in their sights, make a heady mix of contained terror. Although walking in the shadows of Creep and Death Line and other underground horror flicks, writer/producer/director Maurice Devereaux is not afraid of innovation.

The build up, with its flashes of nightmare visions, concentrates on Karen (Ilona Elkin), a psychiatric nurse, who is tormented by hallucinations of ghoulish intensity. One of her patients, who has to be sedated after raving on about the full moon (“I’ve seen them! I’ve seen them! They are everywhere - demons!”), triggers nervousness as she waits on the subway platform for the last train.

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What is happening outside Karen’s head is even more scary. A cult of true believers has been conditioned to the imminence of Armageddon. On a signal – in this case pager messages – it is their duty to save as many souls as possible, which means murder (“God loves you”) with flat bladed crucifixes.

As the killings commence, when the train stops in a tunnel, Karen and a handful of others escape along the track. The fear factor is enhanced by the apparent normality and sincerity of their pursuers, as well as never being entirely sure whom to trust within their own group.

Devereaux cleverly retains a tension that could easily have disintegrated into parody. Occasionally the script lets itself down (“If anyone needs to use the bathroom, this is the time”), but not enough to upset the flow of adrenaline, or puncture the pace.

These are familiar fears, whether from alien monsters on a spaceship, or the living dead in a deserted farmhouse, but Devereaux shreds past clichés and moves on in his own way, as if this is the first of a Jonestown-style deadly devotional crusade, unlike any other.

To maintain freshness in old clothes gives a boost to imagination’s morale and when people don’t die in the expected order, you know you can’t be certain of anything. And that’s disturbing.

Reviewed on: 24 Apr 2007
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Armageddon on the subway.

Director: Maurice Devereaux

Writer: Maurice Devereaux

Starring: Ilona Elkin, Nicolas Wright, Robin Wilcock, Joan McBride, Neil Napier, Tim Rozon, Emily Shelton, Danny Blanco, John Vamvas, Nina Fillis, Christine Lan

Year: 2006

Runtime: 95 minutes

Country: Canada

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