horror, mystery

Dead End

Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa, 2003

Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa, 2003

When I posted about this blog on Facebook and said I was taking recommendations, I meant it. Dead End was suggested as a joke, but I stayed true to my word, watched it, and reviewed it. You’re welcome.

Dead End tells the story of a family traveling Christmas Eve on their way to Grandma’s house, a trip they’ve taken every year for 20 years, and yet, this year it goes awry. Dad (Ray Wise) was “bored” and chose to take back roads instead of the interstate, and this shows everyone more than a scenic route. A lady in white (imagine Ke$ha as a ghost, holding a baby) appears in the woods, so Dad, against everyone else’s wishes, stops to ask her for directions. She doesn’t speak. From here, things continue to grow stranger.

With the opening credits beginning like an iMovie, I said to myself, “It can only go up from here,” and that was such a kind thing to think of Dead End. Because of the wardrobe, music, film quality, and so on, I would’ve guessed this was a late 80’s/early 90’s horror film, so when Dad asks if anyone has a cellphone, I burst out laughing, only to realize this film was made in 2003. Oops.

Dead End should be watched if you want a “scary” movie that will make you laugh, or want to keep things interesting during a Christmas movie marathon; after all, there is a tranced sing-a-long of “Jingle Bells” in which the mom, Laura, actually knows the words to the second verse. This film has it all– deaths, ghosts and/or aliens (depending on which character you side with), family secrets being revealed at the most inopportune times, and, my personal favorite, a stunned Laura eating pie in the backseat of the car with her two hands. The family’s reaction to this is that Laura is “shocked,” though this family uses “shocked” as an adjective like Southern girls use “sweet,” so I’m unsure of her true diagnosis.

I don’t want to give too much away, so if I haven’t intrigued you enough by mentioning the Ke$ha ghost, perhaps these quotes from the movie will. Seriously, these are real quotes from the movie.

“Next time I’m just gonna bring a globe in case you suddenly feel like driving to Mother’s by way of the North pole!” 

“How does she breathe with all this blanket on her face?” 

“You handle that wrench like a whore handles a baby.” 

“Maybe the map maker was drunk, maybe the moon’s made out of cheese, who knows?!”

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