Pros:creepy, unsettling, tense
The Bottom Line: In spite of its limitations, End of the Line is a movie Devereaux can be proud of, and hopefully one which will convince someone to take a chance on him.
Maurice Devereaux is a director to watch in the indie horror scene. I saw his Lady of the Lake some years ago, and I recall liking it; unfortunately, it is not available on DVD, so I haven't had the opportunity to re-watch it. His Slashers made the leap to DVD, and it is a favorite of mine. The premise was terrific and ahead of its time (the film was released in 2001, but Devereaux was working on it in 1998): a group of contestants on Japan's newest hit reality show are pitted against larger-than-life, celebrated serial killers in the hopes of winning a few million dollars. Unfortunately, the acting in Slashers was so bad that I feel I have to classify the movie as a guilty pleasure rather than as a legitimately good film.
Recommend this product?
Happily, the acting in Devereaux's latest, End of the Line, is better than the acting in Slashers. The film also looks better than his previous films: in one of the DVD's special features, Devereaux mentions a review he read complaining about the movie's CG effects; the reviewer missed the fact that the "CG effects" were just people in makeup and costumes.
End of the Line drags a bit in places, but is on the whole disturbing and unsettling. It follows a group of passengers on the subway's late train who soon find themselves fighting for their lives against a religous cult. The cult members have received a text message from their leader, informing them that Armageddon is coming, and they must save the souls of as many people as they can by stabbing them to death with their crucifix-shaped daggers. The winding underground tunnels make for a dark, claustrophobic setting, and the cult members, with their big smiles and belief that they are doing right, are genuinely creepy.
Somebody needs to give Devereaux a bigger budget. The man has some really good ideas, and it would be great if they weren't relegated to the direct-to-DVD graveyard. In this DVD's special features, Devereaux says that having to serve as the writer/director/editor/etc. harms his films. It does, and so does not being able to afford better actors. In spite of its limitations, End of the Line is still a movie Devereaux can be proud of, and hopefully the one which will convince someone to take a chance on him.
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