Fire City: End of Days Movie Review
By: Justin Hopkins
As I was scrolling through Tubi, looking for a movie. Gave this movie a passing glance. Was about to move on, but clicked to read the synopsis and was glad I did. One look at who directed was all I needed to be sold. Tom Woodruff JR, man behind the mask of some of my favorite monsters and creatures and excellent Special Effects Artists. Immediately getting hyped up to see how he would do as a director. Lets not waste any time and jump right in, shall we.
The movie kicks off with Andre cornering a little girl named, Lisa, his girlfriend’s Daughter, in a basement. Being stopped by Atum Vine. Who stopped it by saying he couldn’t allow him to kill her there, because it was bad for business, and he would have to kill her somewhere else. During which, Sara makes her escape and Andre simply leaves. When he does, we see the demon, that Vine really is. Moving from there, we see Cornelia reading a women’s Tarot Cards, informing her of her Husband cheating on her. Turning the next card to give her more, the women is startled, by the same thing Cornelia is, and that is the card turning to shattered black glass. Something she wasn’t suppose to see and Cornelia killed her. Meanwhile, Atum is coming back upstairs. Texting someone about having his weed, but no one answered the door. Cornelia quickly pulling him in to tell him what was going on. That the glass wasn’t blue which meant a new Interpreter, has entered the fray, or something worse and wanting him to keep his eyes open. Leaving her apartment, slowly going down the hall and snooping on all of the neighbors, who are all suffering in their own ways. When he is greeted by more demons, who owe him money and are not really playing ball. Just as he got back home, someone knocks and we get a bizarre montage of people coming to buy drugs from him, two of the neighbors who had been fighting earlier escalated far out of control to where one is locked in a closet and the guy is threating to kill himself if she doesn’t open the door. Uncomfortable tension forming between Andre and Sara and the Demons ae in their apartment eating it all up. It ends when Vine realizes that the guy never read his message about the weed and goes downstairs to check on him. Spotting blood on the floor and into Sara again. Who was collecting her doll and going to runaway. He tries to talk her into staying because as he puts it, life isn’t much better out there, but she calls him out. Having the power to stop Andre, and he is actually worse than Andrea because he doesn’t do anything. Before it can go any further her Mother violently drags her away and he goes on and finds Dooley murdered and blacks out. Having a dream of Andre cornering Lisa in a dark room, under a bright light. About to attack her when Vine saves her, and kills Andre. When he wakes up, finds that the people are acting differently. Andre is being a loving Step Dad to Lisa. Seeing her off to school. Dressed and going to go looking for a job. The angry couple are now lovey dovey and the demons are freaking out. With no one suffering they didn’t have misery to feed off of and would starve, without. Meeting up with Cornelia and she warns them of a disease that is affecting the humans and they must stay inside their apartment until they find out what is going on. Despite her vehemently claiming that it is a disease and showing him the Oracle Bones. Vine isn’t believing it. Showing her the body of Dooley and he pulls a red feather from a wound, but Cornelia again, isn’t buying it. Going off to find a cure and that is where I am going to leave it for now.
This movie was wild. I didn’t understand what was going on for the first day, but they were rather quick to fill in the blanks as they went and I rather liked that. They kept you guessing to what was going on and did a good job at building speculation. Showing that it wasn’t the people who were causing this but the demons and them descending into chaos because of it. Enjoyed the fact that no one was really “good.”. We saw Vine slowly change but right up to the end, he was a bad guy. Who was just as guilty as everyone else was. A true demon and I appreciated that. Too often they just call the lead a bad guy but this really brought us one.
Really loved the prosthetics and make up. Special Effects team really delivered throughout. I loved the costumes and make-up, on Vine and Cornelia. The roots and horns on Vine could have been a bit much, but they did a wonderful job at blending them into his head and around his cheeks and eyes. The shading of blue on Cornelia and swapping eyes at the end. Had some magnificent camera shots of them going between human and demon, but they did not hold back on seeing the demons in costume. Most of the movie was their demon form and hats off to everyone for making them look fantastic.
Tobias Jelinek was brilliant as Vine. Starting with a cold, calculating menace at the beginning. Expertly controlling the apartment, even the non-demons. He stooped the attack on Sara, only because he needed the suffer to continue, but as we see him warming up. Growing compassion until he succumbed in a heart wrenching plea to keep Cornelia from attacking Sara and when the shoe drops and we find out really happen you feel so bad for him. Than you had Keely Alona, who just hit you right in the feels. Selling her fear of Andre and her Mother to a tee. Making you hate Vine for not helping her. Danielle C. Ryan did a great job as the demon Cornelia. Having great chemistry with Tobias. The two feeling like monsters when they were together and feeling tension of love and hate and every argument felt raw and animalistic and they added so much depth to each other.
This movie does have some flaws. Something needed to be touched up here and there, but for Tom Woodruff Jr.’s directorial debut. It was certainly a fun ride. A different kind of story with a surprise twist at the end, that I would absolutely up for more movies from this world. Think they have something really special and different and would strongly suggest giving this one a watch.
As always I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.