Family Trips Can Be A Real Killer: DEAD END – The Dungeon Review!

dead-end-21The Harrington’s are on their way to see family on Christmas Eve night. Dad falls asleep at the wheel and wakes up to the lights of an oncoming car. He swerves out of the way and into what ends up being the family’s nightmare journey. Most of the films action takes place inside of the car. The shots of the car driving along this deserted road through a massive, seemingly never ending forest inspires a sense of both solitude and dread. The appearance of another vehicle should evoke a feeling of hope but instead causes a sense of panic. The scenery and filming is impressive but it is the dialogue and performances in this film that separate it from the rest of the pack. Ray Wise, who played Laura Palmer’s dad in Twin Peaks, is perfect. Lin Shaye, Mick Cain and Alexandra Holden offer some outstanding support. An exaggerated, but not too far off portrait of the typical modern family. Mom, dad, brother, sister, let’s throw in sister’s fiancée for good measure. Bickering and bitterness abound and secrets are revealed as the family unit slowly crumbles. What makes all this even more interesting is it is quite humorous. The film is laced with humour darker than the forest they are driving through that makes for a pretty entertaining emotional rollercoaster ride. Dead End is a horror film low on body count and gore that doesn’t even offer alot of scares. But the atmosphere, the outstanding acting and dialogue, and the humour-laden sense of dread left me sweetly sated. This films one and only downfall is its ending. Here I must doc the film a full point. The ending is needlessly over explained. It would have been more fun and more effective to have allowed us to come to our own conclusions. This unique and satisfying horror film is definitely worth a rental.

Dungeon Review: 4/5

Directed By: Jean-Baptiste Andrea & Fabrice Canepa

Starring: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, Billy Asher and Amber Smith

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