Dead End (2003 film)

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Dead End
Dead End movie.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea
Fabrice Canepa
Produced by James Huth
Written by Jean-Baptiste Andrea
Fabrice Canepa
Starring Alexandra Holden
Ray Wise
Lin Shaye
Mick Cain
Billy Asher
Amber Smith
Music by Greg De Belles
Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Release date
  • 12 December 2003 (2003-12-12) (UK)
Running time
85 minutes
Country France[1]
Language English

Dead End is a 2003 French horror drama film written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa.[2]

It tells the story of a dysfunctional family who find themselves on a neverending road in the middle of a forest during a routine drive on Christmas Eve.


Driving on Christmas Eve with his family, Frank Harrington decides to take a short cut through a remote location. In the car with him: his wife Laura, his son, Richard, his daughter, Marion, and her boyfriend, Brad. It's night time, and as Frank drives, he begins to fall asleep at the wheel, only to be woken by the screams of his family, warning him of an oncoming vehicle, he narrowly avoids the vehicle, and after an inspection of his car, continues to drive. Confused, Laura questions her husband as to why he didn't take the usual route to her mother-in-law's house; he claims he fancied a change.

As the siblings bicker, Frank abruptly stops the car, claiming he saw a young woman, dressed in white in the bushes. He gets out of the car to take a further look, and the woman appears, holding a baby. Marion, seeing how distressed the woman appears to be, and realizing that she needs help, offers to walk so that they can take the woman in the car to a house for help. The woman gets into the car, and as the family ask her questions, she remains silent. They arrive at a wooden cabin, and Laura and Frank go in to investigate. Meanwhile, Richard goes to masturbate in the woods, leaving Brad in the car with the woman and her child. Brad begins questioning the woman and telling the woman his plans to propose to Marion, meanwhile Marion walks along the road to catch up with the family and rehearses how she plans to break up with Brad. The woman tells Brad the name of her child; Amy, and passes her to him. A confused Brad asks how the child can breathe with the blankets covering her face, the woman replies that the baby is dead. Confused, Brad lifts the blankets to discover what appears to be the rotting corpse of the child, and screams. The camera changes back to Richard, who hears the scream and immediately runs back to the car. Brad, and the woman, are nowhere to be seen. However, Marion sees a hearse driving down the road, and as she turns to look, she sees Brad slam his body at the back of it. She runs back to the family and makes them drive after the hearse, the journey is unsuccessful.

Driving along the road, Frank once again stops the car, and gets out to look at the road, telling the family to stay back. He finds Brad's mutilated body, and as Marion goes into a state of shock, Laura attempts to call the police using Brad's cellphone; however, the other end of the line is a crying child. The family get back into the car, and Marion sits, silent. As the tension rises, Laura questions Frank's ability to direct them; they argue, and he tells Laura that he hates visiting her family. Frank abruptly stops the car once again, when he sees a pram in the road, Richard gets out to look and pretends to be pulled into the pram, scaring his parents. They get back into the car, only to stop again, however this time, it's Richard who the hearse picks up. Later on, the family find his body, and Laura begins to go insane.

Driving with his daughter in the front of the car, Marion appears to have returned to normal, and the family pass a sign that says "Marcott". Frank realizes that this must be a military road, and that's why it's not on the map. During a stop, Laura shoots Frank in the leg with a shotgun that they had unwrapped from a present for a family member. After dressing the wound, they begin the drive again. Shortly after, Laura talks about seeing the face of a friend who had died 20 years earlier in the woods. She demands to visit with her departed friend, and upon Frank refusing, jumps out of the moving vehicle. Frank stops and they search for Laura until she appears, disheveled and babbling with her brain exposed from the impact before soon dying. Putting her in the back of the car, he continues to drive. They come across the same ranger station they had stopped at earlier, and Frank is attacked in the dark by the Lady in White. Afterward, Frank has a noticeable change in demeanor and punches Marion unconscious. He sees the Woman in White once again, and chases her into the woods with the shotgun, only to be quickly dispatched in the dark. Marion awakens and gets out of the car, and begins to try and walk down the road. She comes across body bags in the middle of the road containing her dead family members. As she cries, the hearse pulls up, but the Woman in White comes from behind, telling a frightened Marion that the hearse isn't there for her before getting into the hearse and driving off, leaving Marion alone with her dead family.

Marion suddenly awakens in the hospital, heavily bandaged. The doctor tells her of her coma and assure Marion that she and the baby will be fine. On the way out of the hospital, the doctor talks to a man claiming to be the one to find the family after the car crash. The car is then seen being pulled from a wreck, and the doctor discusses the accident. The man surmises that the whole family, except Marion, have died, and that the crash has also claimed the life of a young woman and her baby in the other car. He asks the doctor for her name, and she reveals to him that it is Dr. Marcott. The viewer gets the impression that Marion dreamed of how her family had died while in a coma, and that the hearse not picking her up was her dream telling her that she would live. As the doctor tries to leave, her car fails to start, and the man who found the family offers her a lift in the same hearse from Marion's dream.

As the credits roll, two workers are seen sweeping up debris from the crash. They find a note Frank had previously written in the car with Marion before their final stop, insinuating that the experiences of the family were real.


Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Dead End". BFI Film & Television Database. London: British Film Institute. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dead End (2003)". New York Times. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]