If you want to watch an original and weird horror movie, Dead End must be your choice. You will think that it’s another wrong turn gone bad horror movie in the beginning, but after some time you will realize that it’s something completely different. Written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa, this movie definitely has that European vibe. When you combine it with a noir atmosphere and something as American as visiting grandparents for Christmas (I guess this also happens in other countries, but as a movie motive, American cinematography has a special place for Christmas movies), you get a very engaging and entertaining movie. Subtle dark humor lightened the strange events that are happening and the dysfunctional family motive added another dimension to the story. Since most of the movie is happening inside a car, this helped immensely with the pacing and atmosphere.

Dead End [2003] Movie Review Recommendation PosterIt’s Christmas Eve and Frank Harrington is trying to reach his parents’ house, driving his family along with his daughter’s boyfriend, where they are expecting them for a traditional Christmas dinner. Running late, he decides to take a shortcut through the woods and this is where strange things start to happen.

Basically a road trip movie, Dead End reminded me of another movie that employs a similar plot: Retroactive. The former being a much darker and dare I say, funnier movie. Character driven, it features a very dynamic and relatable relationship between the characters. The actors really nailed their parts here and soon you will feel like you know this family, hell, you’ve known them for years. However, they are now on a road to hell and you are sitting comfortably at your house. Minute by minute, Dead End will carefully and patiently keep drawing you in, until you’re completely immersed into this masterpiece. Working on a small budget, Andrea and Canepa perfected the script, sculpting the characters to be naturally driven and this resonated throughout the movie with that dynamic and realistic dialogue. Like a great X-Files episode, Dead End is one of those movies that you will not forget. Enjoy.

Directors: Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa

Cast: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Alexandra Holden, Amber Smith, Steve Valentine

Fun Facts: At the end of the end credits, there’s this message: “To everyone still with us at the end of these credits, thank you! God bless you. You sure do like Movies!”

Rating:

IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0308152/

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