Dead End (2003)

DEAD-END-003The whole film goes about itself in a rather coy manner from beginning to end. The writers of this have this constant attitude to the audience telling us “Oh, we’re going somewhere with this! You just watch the magic happen!” But the problem is, there’s no magic and the film goes nowhere and beyond. “Dead End” is a title that has never been so proper of its story, before, because the film is a dead end from the very beginning. The entire film thinks its so clever leading us along these ridiculous sequences all for a “surprise” ending that is so utterly predictable, derivative, and yawn inducing, so the writers take us nowhere and bring us to this zero pay off moment all for the sake of camp.

The last scene is not only an attempt to mimic that shit “Cabin Fever”, but it just wasn’t funny at all. The whole time I was watching this, I was asking “What the hell is this crap?!” I mean, the writers have all their bases covered here, there’s horror, black comedy, and the supernatural, so it gives the cast an excuse to go way over-the-top. Lin Hayes is especially dreadful as the dysfunctional mother who switches personalities back and forth and delights in chewing the scenery and attempting to steal scenes from her cast members including Wise who is also very hard to watch in this performance. He’s loud, obnoxious, and just torturous to endure.

The director doesn’t give us much reason to care about these people, never offering up a redeeming feature in any of them beside the daughter. They’re utter idiots, numbskulls, and are so over the top dysfunctional they’d make The Bundy’s cringe in disgust. It’s almost as if the director was going for horror, yet he directed his cast like they were in a comedy, because they’re methods for characterization are never amusing, but awfully irritating. The writers and director literally force these plot elements down the audiences throat with an attempt at something they’re getting at, but really it’s just mind-numbing. “Want to see how dysfunctional this family is? Here’s eighty-seven minutes of it!” We get it, but the problem is it became tiresome after ten.

There’s just nothing here to like at all. They bicker, there’s a lead up with no pay off, they bicker, there’s a lead up with no pay off, and so on. For a movie about people driving in circles, they sure do lead us in with them with no pay-off. There are sudden scares, ridiculous plot devices and really badly done scenes that all led up to the “shocking” finale that was just so utterly predictable, give me a break. The dialogue sure if weak. You figure for a movie revolving around these people who bicker we’d at least be given some very clever engrossing dialogue and character drama, but we get nothing, nada, zip. There is constant attempted character exposition, zero dialogue makes the slightest bit of sense, and there’s just nothing here.

The actors never seem to know what to do with their characters and we never know what’s going on. Why did they go nuts before biting it? Was the ending just as we’re told it is, or something else? For anyone who has seen horror movies for the last twenty years, you’ll automatically guess the surprise ending, and it’s not surprising. This is just a waste of time pretending to be a clever story and just has no brains to it. That Alexandra Holden sure is fun to look at. She’s a very good actress who holds her own coming out practically unscathed, and looks damn good doing it the entire time. I had a good time watching her act. Aside from the yummy looking Alexandra Holden who looks fetching in a tight blue turtle neck, this is a bad film, with horrible acting, a go nowhere plot, a smug concept, and a predictable “surprise” ending that you’ll see coming a mile away. The sign post up ahead says: skip it!