End of Days (1999) Halloween Advent

Rating 18
Length 2h01
Release 10.12.1999
Director Peter Hyams
About The Devil crashes a New Year’s party in New York and inhabits a man’s body. He searches for his bride, a woman named Christine York, as he wants her to bear his child and destroy the world.
Moon: Full moon during the establishing shot of 1979
Where to Watch: Disney Plus
Trailer:

Trick

  • Some of the CGI hasn’t aged well. I would also argue that it wasn’t designed to live up to repeat viewings. The one scene that’s most noticeable is the homeless guy who shatters like glass in Christine’s dream.
  • It’s a visually dark film. There are ways in which you can suggest this level of darkness while still keeping the scene lit. The way in which this film is produced, you cannot have any light in the room in order to watch the film. That doesn’t make for enjoyable watching on my part.

Treat

  • For me, this film is faultless casting. I was reading that the role of Jericho was originally offered to Tom Cruise. Given that the role is so similar to John Anderton in Minority Report, I cannot see how that would have worked. Whereas Arnold Schwarzenegger offers something different to the man broken by life.
  • Kevin Pollak is always a welcome addition to any project, but he’s spot on here and provides a comedic relief that fits the tone of the film. His story arc is a touch of genius too. The careful editing, snappy dialogue all helps his journey and increases its believability.
  • The religious symbolism and imagery within the film is something you might not notice at first watch, but it is well thought out. What is also good about these elements is the fact that they’re value added; you don’t miss anything by not knowing this stuff, but it does add layers.
    • From having the priest who prophesied Christine’s existence called Thomas (While there’s the literally link of Thomas Aquinas, there’s also the idea that he called by name after the Pope disagrees with Thomas’ plan to kill Christine; perhaps an alluding to Doubting Thomas).
    • Jericho Cane shares his initials with the Christian saviour and his story arc involves a beautifully cruel mirroring of the temptation of Christ and even the final act has comparisons to Jesus’ rejection of violence in the Garden of Gethsemane and His prayer for strength from God.
    • Christine herself is believed to bring about the birth of the anti-Christ, so its quite fitting that she has a feminine name similar to Christ.
  • What I love most of all about this film is its action sequences. This is a typical Arnie film where you can switch of your brain and watch the Muscles from Brussels save the day.

Final Thoughts

Its not perfect, but that’s why I love it. Just don’t ask me to choose between this or Stigmata because 1999 really came through for us with the religious horror!

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