Explanation of the review and the ending of the film

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Hillbilly horror is a subgenre that focuses on the demonization of the white person of the southern working class of the United States. Villains are defined by their kinship, racism and lust for violence. They are territorial in nature. Their very existence subverts the famous hospitality with which the southerners are synonymous. This type of horror remained in the foreground until the late 2000s and then its popularity waned as the terror generated by whites moved to more modern contexts. But around this time, we’ve got some incredibly gruesome movies like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Straw Dogs (1971), the entire Wrong Turn franchise, Wolf Creek (2005), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), Liberation (1972), Motel Hell (1980) and Cabin Fever (2002). And it looks like End of the Road (2022) is here to get this subgenre back to life.

Directed by Millicent Shelton and written by Christopher J. Moore and David Loughery, End of the Road follows Brenda (Queen Latifah), her daughter Kelly (Mychala Lee), her son Cam (Shaun Dixon) and brother Reggie (Ludacris / Chris) . Bridges) as they travel from Los Angeles to Houston. Why are they moving? Well, Brenda’s husband, Jake (Michael Anthony), contracted cancer and their family went bankrupt paying their bills for his medicines until the day he died. Hence, they have to move to a more convenient place. And this is in Texas. Parallel to this road trip plot, there is another story unfolding. This involves the henchmen of someone named Mr. Cross, namely Ruck (Jesse Luken) and Ochoa (Efrain Villa). They should deliver a giant sack of money to Cross. But Ruck (er!) Runs into Cross killing Ochoa and taking the money. Brenda and Ruck’s roads collide when they end up in the same motel and chaos ensues.

End of the Road (2022) movie review: Queen Latifah punches, kicks and shoots to take her family through Hillbilly’s hell

Unlike most hillbilly horror films, the protagonists of End of the Road are African American. This changes the dynamic from poor whites terrorizing rich whites (which is rarely the case) to poor and rich whites terrorizing blacks (which is much closer to reality). The hostile altercations that Brenda and her family encounter touch upon the racism that African Americans face when they are simply traveling. Brenda’s non-violent approach to ensuring that her family moves forward unscathed shows the kind of self-control African Americans have to do in a situation that doesn’t deserve that kind of restraint. The introduction of a large sum of dirty money (something Brenda desperately needs to keep her family afloat) tests Brenda’s morality and whether she’s going to prioritize her ethics over her. acquisition of unearned money. But the writing is such a tonal mess and the direction is so fragile that none of these elements come together cohesively.

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It appears that the character interactions between Brenda, Cam, Kelly and Reggie were written to one file and the scenes with the Highlanders, Ruck or Captain JD Hammers (Beau Bridges) were written to another file. And then they were just clubbed together without thinking if these two aspects complemented each other in any way. Family-based interactions are light, fun, and for lack of a better word, family-friendly. Everything else looks like something out of a slasher or gangster movie. If you have to see how well it is done, you just have to look at Noi (2019). Wilsons are fun and vocal while Tethered are campy and violent. But Peele walks that fine line so that he never feels that these two worlds are not on the same level. Shelton never finds that line in his film and then tries to go broke during the film’s final act.

Speaking of the final act, Shelton, cinematographer Ed Wu and production designer Lucio Seixas decide to immerse it in purple light; as if it took place on an alien planet or if the planet was conquered by cosmic energy. Spoiler Alert: Nothing like this is happening. Look, I’m all for unmotivated enlightenment. But the color should have a natural hue. Not purple! For example, in many horror films in the 1980s and also recently in Censor (2021), directors and their DOPs have placed large sources of light that will not be present naturally, to illuminate the place and make the scene dynamic. However they are always white or blue or light green, and at the cost of repeating myself, not purple! You can tell that End of the Road tries to make it easier as we see a little neon blue lighting when Brenda runs into some neo Nazis. Still, the leap to purple is perplexing.

END OF THE ROAD (2022) Shaun Dixon as Cam, Chris Bridges as Reggie, Queen Latifah as Brenda and Mychala Faith Lee as Kelly. Cr: Ursula Coyote / NETFLIX

The interpretations of the central cast are good. Queen Latifah can do more. She absolutely nails the dramatic scenes of hers. But her action-packed moments took a lot more work. In fact, that’s the only thing that could have united half of the film, family-friendly, road-trip, and half of the film, the robber and the gangster-slasher. Well what’s done is done and we can’t change anything about it. Moving on, Ludacris is charismatic and always delivers his lines with the utmost conviction. Mychala Lee and Shaun Dixon are incredibly talented guys and they sell their scenes to death. These three, along with Queen Latifah, really feel like family and not just a bunch of actors pretending to be. Even though Beau Bridges isn’t much on screen until Act 3, he has some fun. The same can be said of Frances Lee McCain. Everyone else in the supporting cast is fine. No bad apples here.

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End of the Road (2022) Finale, Explained:

Who is Mr. Cross? What do Brenda and Reggie do with the money?

Here is a brief summary of the things that happen before the final act. Brenda and her family land at the Sunset Motel. So does Ruck, with a lot of money, after deceiving Mr. Cross. Brenda and co. you hear a ruckus in Ruck’s room that ends with a shot. They go there to check and see that Ruck has been shot. As Brenda tries to save him, Reggie finds the bag full of money. Ruck dies. They call the police. They give their statements and resume their journey. Captain Hammers arrives on the scene and asks Brenda to come back for a few questions. Brenda says she’s not doing this because she told the police everything. Then a stranger, who is speaking through a voice modulator, calls Brenda to return her money. This is when Reggie reveals that he stole the bag full of money to help Brenda with her financial problems.

As soon as Brenda realizes that this money belongs to a gangster named Mr. Cross, she hides the money in another motel and tells Cross to get it from there. But a member of a neo-Nazi gang steals it and runs away. Since Cross doesn’t get the money, he kidnaps Cam and tells Brenda to get her purse back. Fearing the worst in her, Brenda chases the Nazis, breaks some bones, shoots bullets and manages to retrieve the moolah. Meanwhile, Hammers meets Kelly and Reggie and takes them to his home under the pretext of protecting them. He innocently introduces them to his wife Val (Frances Lee McCain). However, he then walks over to the trunk of his car and reveals a Cam tied in there. Yes, Hammers is actually Mr. Cross. He’s the one who killed Ruck. That money belongs to him. And he wants Brenda to come to him with him or else she’ll start killing her family.

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After reaching the location of the Hammers / Cross house, Brenda begins to make her way to that place. Reggie, Kelly and Cam try to escape through a basement window where they are being held hostage. But Cross’s dog prevents them from doing it. That’s why they put a bucket of bleach (because it’s a basement and the Crosses apparently kept a bottle of bleach there) on the panel at the top of the stairs. They then trick Cross into being right under it. Cam dunks the bleach on Cross, which makes his eyes sting, and they run away from the basement. Val fights hard but Reggie, Kelly and Cam manage to take her to the basement and lock the door from the outside. Brenda arrives to save them. Reggie suggests they shouldn’t return the money and run away. Brenda rejects that suggestion. She drops it on the road, gets everyone in the car and drives off.

Cross breaks down the door. After getting the money back, Val and he go after Brenda and her family. This leads to a rather poor car chase sequence. Brenda manages to trick Val and Cross into driving their car into a tree, which kills them both; thus allowing our heroes to drive out scarred (mentally and physically) but alive. The next day, while having breakfast, Reggie reveals that he actually took some of the money from Cross’s purse and intends to keep it. Brenda’s moral compass starts working again and she says they have to return it. Reggie, Kelly and Cam make an obvious observation saying that there is no one left to return the money to. Brenda admits her point and thinks about using the money to deal with their financial problems.

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trailer

Link to the movie End of the Road (2022) – IMDb
, Rotten tomatoes
Cast of the movie End of the Road (2022) – Queen Latifah, Ludacris, Mychala Lee
Where to see End of the road

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