Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dead End (2003)

Directors: Jean-Baptiste Andrea & Fabrice Canepa

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

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Read the signs.

Plot: For the past 20 years, Frank Harrington has grudgingly driven his family to celebrate Christmas with his mother-in-law. This year, he takes a shortcut. It's the biggest mistake of his life: The nightmare begins. A mysterious woman in white wanders through the forest, leaving death in her wake. A terrifying black car - its driver invisible - carries the victims into the heart of the night. Every road sign points to a destination they never reach. The survivors succumb to panic, to madness; deeply buried secrets burst to the surface, and Christmas turns into a living hell.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

This one feels like an extended TWILIGHT ZONE episode but one that benefits from lasting 85 minutes instead of 25. It's a neat little minimalist horror picture that takes place completely at night, is largely filmed inside a car, has a cast of 5 in the car (but not for long) and 1 on the outside and that's about it. It succeeds because of the darkly funny script and the great performances. Ray Wise and Lin Shaye are hysterical! You'll probably guess the outcome early on but that shouldn't hinder the fun factor. I had never heard of this one before last night and I'm glad I gave it a shot. It's available on Netflix instant.

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