James Wan Says This Free-To-Stream Horror Film Made Him Want to Work With Lin Shaye

James Wan
DEATH SENTENCE, director James Wan, on set, 2007. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved/courtesy Everett Collection

James Wan has grown to icon status in the years since he and frequent collaborator Leigh Whannel burst onto the scene with Saw. Wan has since gone on to helm blockbuster sequels and comic book films alike. But the gifted creator will always have a soft spot for horror.

Wan sometimes demonstrates his love for the genre by sharing recommendations via social media. Today’s suggestion comes courtesy of an Instagram post championing an under-seen direct-to-DVD horror flick. I’m talking about Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa’s Dead End.

The film is an eerie and unpredictable affair that kept me guessing right up until the final frame rolled. It’s a bit like a feature-length episode of The Twilight Zone. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can scope the caption from Wan’s IG post below.

“Here’s a little, indie, low budget horror gem that came to DVD in the early 2000s that really caught my attention. It’s about a family driving to their in-laws on Christmas Eve and ends up getting lost on a deserted road, in the middle of nowhere, and encountering unexplained, ghostly events. It’s a creepy movie that subtly gets under your skin and sends chills. It’s so simple and effective in the way it uses it’s [sic] limited locations, and the way the story slowly unfolds its mystery. Well crafted by directors, Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa, and terrifically acted by the talented and inimitable Lin Shaye and Ray Wise. In fact, it was this movie that cemented my desire to want to work with the amazing @mslinshaye 😊”

That’s high praise coming from one of the undisputed masters of modern horror. If you’re keen to check Dead End out, you can find it streaming on Tubi, as of the publication of this post.

The setup is as follows: When a family en route to a Christmas Eve gathering decides to take a shortcut down a wooded road, an eerie sequence of events signals trouble ahead. After nearly colliding with an oncoming car, father Frank (Ray Wise) picks up a ghostly hitchhiker (Amber Smith) and her infant child. With the sudden appearance of their new passengers, the route becomes dark and treacherous — and the family’s numbers rapidly begin to dwindle in a series of seemingly connected, grisly roadside accidents.

Stay tuned to the site for more recommendations from the masters as we learn them. And be sure to follow us on Twitter so you never miss an update.



Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter