Hey gang, Valkor here. Since I've taken the stance to put major focus on my backlog of films, I've discovered the task more daunting if anything; in short, the selections I've run through have been less than stellar to say the least, with a few being "just OK". This next film, Dead End, is a Brit film and USUALLY they're pretty enjoyable. However this film… hmmmmmm…
Dead End centers on family man Carl (Wil Johnson) who is about to embark on a much needed, weekend getaway with his family - wife Maddie (Angela Dixon), son Lucas (Callum Anderson), and daughter Chloe (Frances Speedie). I say "much needed" because it would appear things aren't looking too happy in the Foster family as there's loads of tension throughout. But after this weekend getaway, maybe things will get back to normal. So as they're driving towards their getaway spot, it would appear that getting there is taking waaaaay longer than it should, plus a defunct caravan is mocking them on the road, so much so that Carl nearly snaps. But after much pressure from his wife he keeps his cool and eventually pulls off to the side of the road for a quick nap. And that might be the last nap he or his family will ever take as a white van smashes into the back of their vehicle.
When Carl awakens, he finds that he and his family our tied up – he, Maddie and Chloe are hung by their arms, while little Lucas is resting on a filthy mattress. It is then that we're introduced to Dog (Jamie Forman) and his redneck ilk, who plan on having some "fun" with the Fosters. There's tension between Dog and his family members and the family vs. the Fosters, which leads to the Fosters attempting their escape. And that's when things get all weird and dream sequency. An injured Carl struggles to survive, running for dear life, trying to escape events that just happened. But soon we'll learn what truly happened on that fateful drive and why there's so much tension in the Foster's home.
When "Dead End" reached its end, I was reminded of the film Farmhouse, and if you've ever seen it you'll get an idea of what to expect. But as far as that ending is concerned, Farmhouse does it so much better – tortures included.
There really isn't all that much to say that's good about the film. Maybe a few things such as the story is easy to follow and the film isn't crazy long; it's very dark and intimidating with a decent level of suspense, though by the end I sorta tossed my hands up in defeat. But that's getting ahead of myself. Also I actually I enjoyed the acting of Jamie Forman as "Dog"; had the film been more about torturing the family physically rather than it trying to be psychological, I would have enjoyed his character even more. Still, I thought he was pretty cool. Tasty PerfectView goes out to Frances Speedie and that wonderful "robe and nothing much else on" shot. Pic below so related and oh so yummy.
First up the opening really pushes the tensions the family has all up in your face and you'll never know why until you reach the end. And when you finally learn it you'll be pissed because it's so lame. Again, Farmhouse does it waaaaay better! Next, this is supposed to be a psychological thriller and it sorta does it well, but not well enough to make things that much more interesting; we're subjugated to Carl's manhood being put on the block, but there isn't much he can do when he's tied up, right? Chloe gets teased a little and Maddie pretty much gives it up after some brutal foreplay; I thought when the Foster's were captured that they would be put through a series of physical tortures; Carl does get pretty smashed up, but not much else happens after that. Yes Maddie is taken into the back by Dog to have his way with her, but she seems to finally get into it. At this point I thought I had figured this film out and that the whole thing was a set up by the wife to test Carl's loyalty towards his family; hell, even the dialogue that Dog spews up towards him, sorta suggests it. Oh boy was I wrong! And I wasn't exactly pleased with the ending.
Poor Herschel (James Fischer), who gets a face full muddy toilet water. It's the grossest scene in the entire film.
Dead End DVD is available now though not in the US (you'll have to import it if you're interested). Personally I'd pass on it. It's not the worse film I've sat through, but I expected better from my UK filmmakers. If you do decide to snatch this one up, then at least you'll have Jamie Forman to totally freak you out. Other than that, Dead End gets a 1.5 out of TOV 5 stars.