By Brett Mullins
Written and Directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa
Dead End is a spooky psychological thriller set on Christmas Eve. On their way to the annual celebration of the holidays with their relatives, the Harringtons run into trouble as they veer off the interstate and onto a ‘scenic route’ along a curvy forest road.
This film maintains a balance of dark, ambiguous, and comical elements that enable it to be effective to the audience. In the places where this film should be scary, it is. When the story looks more clear, another kink is thrown into the path and so on. A result of this, however, is a feeling is predictability of which the film fails to transcend.
Despite the predictability, the story does not travel down any major side plots. Combining this with elements of ambiguity keeps the audience interested and in their seats.
Much of the film hinges solely on the performances of the five individuals in the car. Much like the other attributes of the film, what one expects is more or less what is the case. This is to say that there is some rather bad acting in the opening bits.
Dead End can be applauded for sticking to its original idea and keeping it simple enough for the audience to have an idea of what’s going on, even if the filmmakers are purposefully pointed in the wrong direction from time to time.