END OF THE LINE IS JUST THE BEGINNING
AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR MAURICE DEVEREAUX
What could be spookier than a scary movie shown at midnight in Palm Springs? Well, just about anything. That’s what worried Canada’s newest horror film director, Maurice Devereaux, when his film End of The Line was slated to run on a weekend Midnight showing at the 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. With most of the Festival’s attendees being gray-haired movie fans, the Montreal director feared most would opt for a good night’s sleep over seeing his film.
But, as he found out, if Palm Springs has a dark underbelly, its inhabitants certainly come out at night.
“At every show, there’s usually a few people who are the real horror connoisseurs, the ones who buy magazines like Fangoria, go to horror conventions, who are very passionate about horror,” Devereaux said after signing autographs. “If these people enjoy it, that’s why we do it.”
End of the Line is about a group of subway riders who find themselves trapped underground by heaven-bent, knife-wielding religious fanatics. The film does for subterranean transit what Jaws did for oceans. “My friends in Toronto, who saw the film, said to me after, ‘Great: how are we supposed to get home now?’”
Canada was well-represented at the 11-day fest, with ten of the more than 250 films featured. Other Canadian films included the visually stunning Sharkwater documentary exposing excesses in the shark fin trade and a profile of hockey legend Maurice Richard called The Rocket, nominated for 13 Genie Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Academy Awards).
But, festival organizers chose End of the Line for its Super Charged Cinema program of films that push the envelope. It took less than 30 seconds for Devereaux to shock people physically out of their seats. “In horror, yes you can have gore and people dying, whatever; there’s not really any subtext to it. But with this, it’s the fact that it takes a stab at religious extremism.” Devereaux continued, “It touches on a very touchy subject. As soon as you touch on religion, it can be controversial. And, when you mix [horror and religion] together, it’s going to strike a nerve.”