Tuesday, November 1, 2011

31 Days of Horror: Dead End

2003, Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa -- Netflix

The final movie of the month turned out to be a last minute decision.  First choice was Inside (À l'intérieur) a movie about a pregnant woman and an unfortunate car accident.  It started with the sub-titles not working so we downloaded a couple of different alternates.  They were all off-sync so we moved onto the next choice, Biophage, a zombie movie with some repute on the horror websites. No matter what we tried, it no longer wanted to work on our media share and it would take an hour or so to reconvert.  Again, abandoned.  So, onto Netflix to see what we could find.

Normally in long car drive movies, our family meets an untimely death at the hands of monsters or not so pleasant rural folk.  You might think this movie is one of those but if you stick with it, you will be ... surprised.  Pleasantly or not is up to you.  I rather liked the bend in the road that led to the Dead End.

The Harringtons are one of those families on their way to grandma's for Christmas, bickering and snarking at each other because dad has decided to take the off-the-beaten-path road.  It's a grand old road, scene from above (pun intended), with not a single town or side road or even other driver.  At least until they almost run another driver off the road.  The funny thing is that other than being completely shaken awake, they don't worry about the fact they don't see any signs of the other driver.  Funny thing about that...

Fall into straight-to-video horror tropes: son's a stoner, dad's an overbearing dick, daughter is an uptight professional and her BF is annoyingly perfect.  Oh yeah, mom is a martyr. And one by one they are dealt with but not by ghosts or monsters or even the creepy rural folk but really by... the road.  The road that goes ever on, no side roads, no towns, no gas stations, no nuttin' just miles and miles of trees and dark foggy exterior. Oh and the occasional spooky lady in white who eats the face off the son, a baby carriage that blocks the car's path and an old hearse that carries off each of the family members as they are dealt with, not by any choice of theirs. But it really is the road itself that is the star of the movie, reminding of those long nightly trips we did in NS driving friends back home from town to town along old country roads devoid of anything but our collective imaginations.

It was a fun movie but not really what I was looking for on actually Halloween night. But at least it was unarguably an actual horror movie.