On Christmas Eve, what should be a simple commute for the holiday turns into a nightmare. Dead End is the story of the Harrington family, who gets lost while taking an unfamiliar shortcut to grandma’s house. When they decide to pick up a hitchhiking ‘woman in white’ events take a drastic turn for the worst. What follows is a barrage of nightmarish images and unexplained occurrences.
Now let me begin the review by noting that I had heard many good things about this film before giving it a chance, and still I was more impressed than I expected to be. The acting is excellent, and the effects are convincing. Most impressive however is the directing style. Dead End is reminiscent of an old ‘Twilight Zone’ story, and leaves the viewer feeling disoriented and guessing until the conclusion. Several possible explanations are thrown into the mix by different characters throughout the story. Unfortunately, the conclusion that the film does come to is slightly overused and overrated, but that doesn’t ruin the movie.
Altogether, Dead End maintains an excellent feeling of tension and anticipation. Skillful use of silence and sound effects make this one of the more creepy and atmospheric movies I’ve seen out of the 21st century. And since it is set around the Christmas holiday, it is another perfect seasonal film. As for me, this film will be added to my annual tradition of holiday horror.