Frank Harrington and his family (wife, son, daughter and her boyfriend) are driving to the mother-in-law's house on Christmas Eve when he decides to take a detour for the first time in twenty-years. They find themselves on an empty stretch of road, surrounded by forest on either side.Because of the monotony Frank fall's asleep at the wheel and almost crashes the SUV. Soon after, he stops again when he sees a woman dressed in white alongside the road. It looks as if she's been in some accident, as there is this big cut on her forehead. But we suspect that she is not quite human, which is demonstrated later on in the movie when she bites off one of the character's lips.They keep on driving and driving, with no end in sight. Every time they do stop, though, whether it be for an abandoned baby carriage in the middle of the road or to look at a road sign, someone is attacked and whisked away by this big black old-fashioned looking car. They are soon found after on the road, mutilated or burned. The film also cuts to this extreme high angle shot of the car driving down this road, which shows they aren't anywhere near a town. Simply unending woods. Because the events are so strange the audience begins to think that they might not be on earth at all but traveling in another dimension.The dialogue and character interaction is absurd and entertaining, contributing to the surreal feel of the movie. Not only does the daughter reveal that she is pregnant-but the son admits smoking pot, and the wife admits that the son isn't really the father's. And all of the characters freak out at their circumstances to varying degrees.The cast is strong, particularly Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS) as the father and Alexandra Holden (WISHCRAFT) as the daughter. Lin Shaye (SOMETHING ABOUT MARY) is creepy as the shrewish mother.In retrospect, the ending is obvious, but for some reason it never occurred to me while I was watching it. I think I was intentionally distracted by all of the 'red herrings' in the script. DEAD END would make a good video night double feature with MONSTER MAN (2003), a similarly themed-and entertaining---movie.