End of Days unleashes apocalyptic horror action.
End of Days is a supernatural horror action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the tormented hero. It’s big on the action that plays on the fear of change. While the world was afraid that all the computers would go mad when 1999 turned into 2000, this movie translates that to a religious fear of the pending Apocalypse. Of course nothing happened tech-wise, in the same way the world didn’t end in this action star vehicle movie where the devil himself is stopped by a reluctant hero. Full of action, violence, gun fights and explosions, this devil wrecks some huge havoc that is over the top but will please the action lovers.
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In 1979 a prophecy about the end of days is set in motion when a child is born that is predicated to carry the child of Satan. After thousand years he will rise again to bring upon the Apocalypse. This child is found by satanists who care for her so she can become Satan’s bride in 1999. Meanwhile the Catholic church wants to find the girl as well to protect her, while a separate catholic group wants to kill her. When in 1999 between Christmas and New Years Eve Satan arises and takes the body of a wealthy banker, Jericho and his partner working as security agents are assigned to protect him. This sets Jericho on a path to the girl Christine and is caught in the middle of a supernatural epic battle while protecting Christine and he has to prevent the end of the world.
Why you should watch it
End of Days is a pure action horror, with a lot of explosions, gun fights, kills and a powerful devil. It has a familiar storyline with a tormented man who reluctantly becomes the hero because underneath all the hurt and grief he’s a pure good person. It’s an action horror trope that brings nothing new to the table but works when you know what to expect.
It follows the structure of Jericho’s development who is pulled into the events which turn him into a hero. We first get to know him, we already have learnt about the prophecy, we learn that Christine has hallucinations and visions and is controlled and watched by satanists. While the catholic church is three steps behind. Due to some action and spectacular scenes Jericho is caught up in it and after he meets Christine the journey of the hero truly begins. The devil wants to seduce him, tortures him while leaving a trail of dead bodies behind. The supernatural aspect is very well present, the immortality of the devil, the raised dead who do his bidding, a priest with no tongue who speaks to Jericho, the devilish hallucinations, all these elements give it an occult sense of terror that is well mixed with the action sequences. Although there’s not a particular focus on blood and gore, there are some pretty gruesome scenes that belong more in the realm of the horror genre than in the action genre. It’s a fast paced movie that takes place at different locations in New York, mostly shady and far from the festivities of New Years Eve and the countdown till 2000.
Not only is this a great watch for New Years Eve, but due to news announcements and some tv footage we are taken back to the fear of the year jumping from 1999 to 2000. There was fear of computer failings and so on and sometimes it did feel like something was going to end. But ironically nothing did happen.
My favorite part
The scene in the subway was a great scene and had some fun action scenes. Especially when the devil was torn to bits and only his head was still working and almost intact. Overall it’s a very entertaining film.
Thrill factor: ★★★☆☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆
Cast and crew
End of Days is directed by Peter Hyams and written by Andrew W. Marlowe. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Jericho Cane), Robin Tunney (Christine York) and Gabriel Byrne (Satan).
Duration: 122 minutes. Music: John Debney. Cinematography: Peter Hayms. Edited by: Steven Kemper. Produced by: Armyan Bernstein, Bill Borden. Production company: Beacon Pictures. Distributed by: Universal Pictures, Buena Vista International.