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Movie Review: Viral
The end is coming...
Whatâ€™s scarier than Devil Worshippers and all of my ex-girlfriends rolled into one mammoth beeyatch from
the nether regions of hell? Well to me, religious zealots and freaking cults; thatâ€™s who! People who judge unbelievers
to their cause, treat them like crap and in the worse cases do horrible things to
them in the name of â€śgoodâ€ť, â€śGodâ€ť, â€śAllahâ€ť, Homer Simpson", whoever the f*ck is in the driverâ€™s seat
according to them. I guess Montreal filmmaker Maurice Devereaux feels the same
as I do; because he crafted a horror party around that fear.
END OF THE LINE sprang off a very groovy premise and then launched my sorry ass into a suspenseful and eventually gore filled jamboree of fun. Devereauxâ€™ influences were felt throughout and thank Neptune the King of the Sea that he was partial to quality films. The first 20 minutes or so tossed in some mucho spooky J-Horror like fear devices while the middle section and the finale smelled a lot like Demons, Raw Meat and classic Carpenter to me! Nothing wrong with that! Devereaux was thankfully up to the task; his film was imbued with oppressive atmosphere, genuine moments of tension, all kinds of kool ideas and creative shots that brought the tale home with gusto. Moreover, Devereauxâ€™ knack at tossing out unexpected plot twists, ballsy moves (kids are not safe in this film) and lightly playing the "The Thingâ€ť game of â€śis he with us or against usâ€ť added pizzazz to the ride. Finally, big props for the inclusion of that loony tune, cult member who just wanted to drop a load before he died. The character brought an added element of threat to the already visceral situation and many o smiles to my face via his warped sense of humor. Loved him!
So what was my problemo with it then! Well I canâ€™t say I bought into the happenings as much as I shouldâ€™ve. Although the story was rock solid; the stock characters within it did next to nothing for me. You know youâ€™re in trouble when the peak of characterization in a film is witnessing a twenty-something pretty boy act in AWE before a pair of mini tits within a padded bra to then resort to drumming on walls like a toddler on PCP instead of tapping that girlâ€™s ass. I still donâ€™t know what that was all about. Bottom line; I didn't believe in or root for most of the heroes (I did root for Neil Napier's biceps though); I just wanted them nixed out already! Furthermore; the middle of the film did lag a tad and slight redundancy kicked in. Thereâ€™s just so much you can do horror wise within a tunnel setting on a low budget. Same could be said in terms of gawking at the same location for an hour and a half. In Alien 3 I got fed up with the orangish-rust look throughout, here it was the constant bleak tunnel/train motif. When they took the action to a new place near the end, you couldnâ€™t have a happier mook than me. Finally some of dialogue missed my mark and some of the acting felt off in places hurting some of scenarios in the process.
END OF THE LINE did end on a high note; with some chilling creature shenanigans that also acted as one of the many hints within the film that the happenings might go beyond what meets the eye. Iâ€™ll leave it at that. Overall; not the flawless masterpiece everybody has been telling me it was but a tight little chiller that delivered the goods with zero apologies and hit where it counts - below the belt. Maurice Devereauxâ€™ got the most of his low budget and then some! It is his most accomplished film to date in my useless opinion. Hop on this "Armageddon" train!