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Dead End (2003) – Movie Review

Jake’s song of the day:

       Hey, everyone, this is Jacob Arasim, finder of Your Weekly Popcorn and I think it’s time to share something new other than just another short story. In all honesty, if I’m going to have a blog, I would expect it to have some variety other than… yeah… just another short story. Stay poppin’, Boise State.

Throughout the years of being a confused, curious, and often dumb-founded teenager, I’ve always had a love for scary movies. However, scary movies weren’t always my favorite. They used to be my poison. Being someone who watched The Shining at the age of eight, thus being ultimately scarred by it, scary movies soon grew from my worst nemesis to my best friend (My worst nemesis now is the dreadful subject of math, but that’s another story.). As my love for scary movies continued to grow, I also took interest in low-budget horror flicks, by of which not a lot of people have heard of. Movies such as Evil Dead (1981), The Langoliers, Basket Case, House, etc. These sort of movies are absolutely atrocious, with ridiculous acting, pointless story plots, ridiculous special effects, and other characteristics you wouldn’t see in a regular blockbuster movies. Although, it’s really interesting how these low-wage film-makers can make such an interesting movie with a budget as low as $3 million.

For example, Evil Dead 2 (Directed by Sam Raimi) only had a budget of $3.6 million, which makes wonder how in the hell did they get this together?! (below: Evil Dead 2 [1987] star Bruce Campbell, Ash, fighting a monster-ugly-thing.)

Evil Dead 2


Low-budget films are all apart of interesting and original talent. Though they may look like complete and utter shit, I can’t help but admire the work that low-budget filmmakers can put together. Alright, now I’m going to finally cut to the chase, to the real topic of this here blog!

Dead End (2003) was discovered by me after ten years of its presence. It’s a story that really squeezes and twists your brain, like a filthy sponge. It’s a low-budget movie that actually makes you shiver with a hint of fright. To top that off, this movie happens to be a Christmas story about a regular family, who just want to visit family for the upcoming holiday. When the family is driving on a highway, surrounded by nothing but forest, their Christmas Eve literally turns into a nightmare before Christmas. There is a father, a mother, a daughter, a son, and the daughter’s boyfriend who are all together for this roller-coaster ride of terror. The father, Frank Harrington (as played by Ray Wise), decides to take a shortcut to get to the in-laws’ home in time for Christmas. The family has done this for Christmas every year for the past twenty and Frank’s first decision to take a shortcut takes a deadly toll on the family.

downloadThe story starts to get very exciting as Frank nearly hits a woman in a white gown, standing in the middle of the road. With the family startled, the see that the Woman is seriously injured and is carrying a baby. They want to help the Woman, but they don’t have enough room, so they end up leaving their daughter, Marion (as played by Alexandra Holden) in the middle of the road IN the middle of the night. They tell Marion to just follow the road and meet where she sees the car at a stop.

Okay, what?! Oh, like that couldn’t be anymore cliché?! 

The family decides to take the Woman in White with them, in the hopes to get help from the nearest populated area. Frank and his family discover an old shack and they decide to stop there to find a working telephone (Note that this movie takes place in a time where not a lot of cell phones were owned by everyone everywhere.). As Frank and Laura investigate the shack, their only son Richard (as played by Mick Cain) goes wandering off into the forest to do business of his own. And what I mean by “business,” I mean “monkey business.”

Now Richard is the bastard child of the family. He smokes pot, he listens to hardcore music, insults his parents, and is a total junkie. Throughout the movie, he turns out to be the main source of comic-relief. So when something wrong happens, the family is completely taken off guard by Richard’s wise-cracks.

 While Richard is in the woods and the two parents are looking for a working phone, the daughter’s boyfriend Brad (as played by Billy Asher) is left in the car waiting with the Woman in White. After a disturbing discovery of the fact that the Woman’s baby (whom of which she is holding) is actually dead, things really start to go haywire. Frank, Laura, and Richard all discover that Brad is gone, along with the Woman and her mangled baby. Meanwhile, Marion discovers her boyfriend in the backseat of a sketchy black car, which casually drives past her on the opposite side of the street. Completely petrified of the sight of her boyfriend being taken away, she finally (miraculously) finds her family to tell them the news. Frank, Laura, Richard, and Marion all go after Brad in search of the car, only to discover his mangled body in the middle of the road. The black car is also nowhere to be seen, especially the Woman in White.

Dead End, for some, might be a bit confusing and difficult to follow. It’s one of those movies where you really have to pay attention to, or you won’t get what’s going on. I, for one, happened to enjoy this movie for its disturbing surprises and mind-blowing discoveries. The events that follow are so chilling, even though you never actually get to see people die. It’s a movie that lets you imagine what how the character looks, once he/she has been murdered and that really freaks me out. And the road that the family happens to be travelling on seems to be ever-lasting. The movie also does not intend to scare its audience with violence and gore, but with intimidating their minds (Sort of like the feeling that you get when you were to watch Silence of the Lambs.). Along with the disturbing sequences, the actors, let alone characters, are great (Especially Ray Wise, who happened to star in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.), as you watch a loving family simply fall apart from all the madness. Oh, and the soundtrack is just awesome.

However, Dead End does have some faults, like when Brad actually owns a cell phone, which could have been used instead of going to an empty, creepy piece of shack. The movie does fulfill itself with great acting and a great story, which will make you react like this kitty.


 Dead End is a pretty good movie to visually experience. It’s not like other scary movies, for it has its own unique style. I would give it 3 out of 5 popcorn kernels, minus 2 for its plot line flaws. It is definitely a movie worth watching, despite those faults. If you’re willing to check it out, Dead End is on Netflix instant. Enjoy!

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     Rating: 3/5 Popcorn kernels






About Jake Arasim (0 Articles)
Hey, dudes! My name is Jacob Arasim and, well, I love telling fiction, for the most part! I've been writing and illustrating my own stories/books ever since I was 5 and I never plan to stop! I love to write about comedy, sci-fi, horror, adventure, and sometimes "icky-romantics." I am majoring in English, with a Creative Writing emphasis, along with a Theatre Arts minor. I am 19 years-old, I like to be a goof, I love meeting new people, eating macaroni 'n' cheese, and just having a good time. I also enjoy lovely music bands such as the Pixies, Jack White, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, Nirvana, White Stripes, The Cure, Rage Against the Machine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, the list goes on! I also enjoy watching the Evil Dead and Harry Potter Movies, reading books, listening to records, going on runs, and just being a cool cat. Speaking of cats, I really LOVE CATS! That is all, enjoy my blog, and I appreciate you reading. Stay awesome!