There is a slight problem when thinking of low budget productions of treating this as a caveat, to ignore the obvious knock on effects and over-praise what there is that is acceptible. This can then confuse the average punter, who goes along to see a raved about film only to see ropey special effects and a cast they would not know from Adam. These days the favoured genre of the low-to-no budget set seems to be horror. As we all know, some things are scarier if we never see them. And never seeing equals never making the complex Stan Winston speciall effect.

This is only true up to a point. Canadian chiller Dead End is a case in point. There is a deceptively deceptively simple set up: family head off for Christmas, take a short cut that goes on for ever. In the meantime there is something in them thar woods and our cast of five soon get whittled away using the power of off screen suggestion and a set of kiddies horror make-up. So what is there to praise here? The unknown cast are interesting to watch precisely because they are unknown. The script mines pretty much every potential family argument out of them and is soapier than the run of Santa Barbera with the voodoo doll. And the set is even more one note than Cube’s was, it is a road to nowhere. So the pleasure in the film is in the simplicity of the telling, the decidedly unsympathetic characters and having guessed the twist in the first five minutes.

When I said it was deceptively deceptive I was not just doing it to raise the ire of wiggly red line in word (I do that ll the time anyway). The twist is foreshadowed in the first minute, and you spend the entire film thinking – surely they are not going to use that hoary old chestnut. There b’ain’t be a film that’s gotten away with that one for years round these parts. And it really does not get away with it (the Usual Suspects-esque hammering it home makes it all the worse). Does it spoil the film? Not really, you enjoy its audacity. But you do walk away feeling party to a con trick. Especially since the one thing about a road that goes on forever is that it is decidedly not a Dead End. Cheap fun.