End of the Line (2007)

What is the difference between a cult and a religion? That’s actually a serious question and relevant to this movie. I created the “cults” tag because every so often there’s a movie where cultists try to sacrifice a young girl so that their demon god can enter our world (like you do), but for this movie the “cult” is explicitly Christian. Most likely a subdivision of Christianity, as I was raised Lutheran and don’t remember the pastor passing out dagger crosses and pagers so we could be alerted when the end of the world was happening. But like, are the antagonists technically a cult?

Enh, close enough.

End of the Line is about a group of people trapped in the subway lines when the apocalypse begins and a bunch of culty Christians pull out their daggers (and at least one greatsword) and start “saving” people. Is it really the end of days? Well, I suppose if enough people believe that it is and worldwide riots cause immense destruction, it probably counts. Then there are the demons lurking around, staring with their glowing red eyes (which I would like to add is a phobia of mine, but really “glowing red eyes staring at me from the dark” should be everyone’s phobia). Pretty apocalyptic, all around.

The demons look pretty damn good, in my not at all humble opinion. It’s all costuming instead of CGI, and it really works beautifully. In fact, most of the effects in the movie are practical. I think when one girl jumps in front of a subway car you can tell that it’s edited, but for the most part the movie goes with the less expensive–but better looking–route.

And now here’s something I absolutely love about this movie: there are no demons. Sure, you look at the DVD cover and those are CLEARLY demons, and you watch the movie and see them bursting out of a corpse, but they’re not real. At the very beginning of the movie, protagonist Karen has a dream sequence that involves an envelope that reads “Claviceps Purpurea Ergot.” Claviceps purpurea is an ergot, a fungus that can grow on rye and has been known to cause hallucinations (they think it might have been at the heart of the Salem Witch Trials). Anyway, the demons are all hallucinations, only seen by people who have eaten the church’s free muffins. Karen is shown eating one, Frankie says he’s been fasting except for them, and it’s assumed that the church members all have been eating them as well. Does this change the movie? Yes and no; it hammers home the idea that “the apocalypse” is man made, but that doesn’t change the nightmare that has unfolded. And if you don’t notice it, like I did the first time around? You get an apocalyptic demon movie. It’s win/win!


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