PictureShot almost totally at night the encoding of the 1.85:1 print was always going to be a tricky affair, one which it doesn't quite pull off. The main problem is the lack of dynamic range. The balance has been pushed to the white end and as a result the blacks of the forest are dishwater grey. Smearing is evident on skin tones and a general graininess pervades the image. These changes inevitably lead to a loss of fine detail. Although all this makes the picture sound awful it really isn't, but it is a notch below average by modern standards of encoding.
SoundThe Dolby Digital encoding is recorded at 448kbps and is best described as adequate. Much of the action takes place in the car, and is dialogue heavy. Centre channel dialogue is competent and clear. On leaving the car the soundtrack opens up a little and the viewer is treated to some very nice spot and foley effects. Sounds of the woodlands, and ethereal voices swirl effectively round the viewing room. The score is limited to a few goth rock tracks and is not intrusive, and the original music by Greg De Belle does a quietly effective job or tweaking up the tension.
ExtrasTightly shot and scripted independent movies rarely have extensive extras simply because of the aforementioned time and budget restrictions. Dead End therefore provides us with the trailers, a thirty minute making off featurette and two deleted scenes. Still the deleted scenes are worthy and as they only last a combined three minutes it's a shame they weren't kept in the movie. The making of featurette is a thirty-minute on location video with interviews with the movies French directors and producers. It is an interesting and informative look at the difficulties independent movie makers have in bringing there script to screen.
VerdictA fairly standard disc which belies the treasure lying within it's little pits. Dead End is a sharp, witty and chilling little tale that should find it's way onto your DVD shelves.
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