E.N.D. is an Italian anthology film that almost defies classification. Sure, it obviously has horror connotations (which you can discern just from the DVD cover), but it also tries to be artistic and even throw in some social commentary here and there. But is it a good film? Well, yes…and no. While E.N.D. has several positive aspects, there are a couple of glaringly negative ones as well. In the end (no pun intended), I am going to suggest watching this for yourself to decide whether or not it is a welcome addition to the horror genre.
If you are not familiar with E.N.D., here is the plot synopsis courtesy of CAV Distribution:
Three different times, three different places, three different steps… of the plague.
Day 1. Italy. In a funeral home. The owner of the agency, the hearse driver and the make-up man are forced to deal with an epidemic spread by cocaine. Soon, the corpses ready for the burial wake up in their coffins.
Day 1466. When the epidemic already devoured the whole country, an American soldier and a pregnant woman are surrounded by zombies in a cabin in the woods. When the woman gives birth to her baby, the man understands that he has no more chance for survival.
Day 2333. The country is divided in two factions. Some of our characters preserved themselves. Some… remained human beings.
Although the film has flaws, I do have to commend the filmmakers on their attempt at making something original. Zombies are way overdone in many cases, but not so here. The filmmakers made three separate films that tie in to a central storyline, therefore the viewer gets multiple angles in regard to the main plot. And while this might sound similar to films like V/H/S, E.N.D. takes the concept in a different direction, keeping the focus on a singular storyline instead of multiples.
Each segment in E.N.D. is shot fairly well, although the cinematography doesn’t really stand out in any way. The set locales are decent, and everything looks good overall onscreen.
The acting is pretty good, about what you would expect from a lower budget feature. I can’t say any of the cast gives an outstanding performance, however those actors portraying the zombies in the 3rd segment do a great job of conveying emotion and tension without using actual language. You have to see it to understand what I mean, but I’m sure you’ll agree it is impressive.
The special effects in E.N.D. are great, and there’s quite a bit of gore involved. I enjoy carnage in a zombie flick as much as the next guy, and I certainly applaud what is presented here. My sole complaint is the zombie-fetus shown in the 2nd segment. This effect could have been much better, but I understand budget constraints and how cuts have to be made somewhere.
The segments themselves are where I have the biggest problems. The first segment is almost a throwaway; there’s not much going on in terms of setup, although the attempt is obviously there. I would have liked a bit more tension and more “open-faced” storytelling. Instead, the viewer has to make a few assumptions.
The 2nd and 3rd segments are good, and I particularly like the concept of the 3rd. I won’t give away what happens, but I had to smile as the film concluded. The idea is original, and the execution looks good for the most part.
Overall, I’d have to say E.N.D. was a decent viewing experience, and I might even revisit it in the future. I wish there was an English dubover, as it might help immerse me more into the film, but I’ll have to settle for subtitles instead. No biggie, I suppose…just a preference. The film is available now if you want to take a look.