Denver Film Festival Dailies: End of the Line

OK, there are some weird signs that things in the world aren’t right. And a group of religious fanatics pointing to those signs. And a subway train. Plus, of course, a small group of “normal” people just trying to get home. Add these together, add some cheap blood and gore, and voila: End of the Line, a fun, stupid indie horror flick from Canada. The low-budget approach is constantly in evidence, and the wooden acting is painfully apparent in the early bits with lots of talking and little action, but once the running/screaming/stabbing gets rolling it’s a non-issue. It has a decently creepy atmosphere, an acceptable but not overwhelming amount of gore and a solid number of “gotcha” moments. One scene pushes good taste right out the door, but that’s to be expected in a low-budget horror flick and the filmmakers don’t dwell on it too long. There were also a few chuckle-worthy moments and one or two laugh-out-loud scenes. The overall mix of elements worked well, aided by the film not seeming to take itself too seriously, but also never devolving into self-conscious cheesiness or irony. To wrap it all up, there’s a really fun twist at the end that’s somewhat spoiled by heavy-handed foreshadowing that sucks most of the surprise out of it. All in all it’s better than most of the big-budget horror of the past five years or more, and definitely worth a look for fans of the genre, or anyone looking for something lighter than the typical film festival fare.

Catch it yourself: Thursday, November 15, 10 p.m.

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Sean Cronin