Based on a novel by Christos Tsiolkas (author of The Slap), Dead Europe is half ghost story, half European travelogue, and while its lashings of atmosphere and grimy tone will delight some, its deliberately baffling plot and ambiguous conclusion will irritate many others. After his father's unexplained suicide, Australian photographer Isaac (Ewen Leslie) embarks on a trip to Greece, his father's homeland, to scatter his ashes. But on his journey he finds not the Europe of picture postcards, but a rotten, violent and seedy world peopled by porn merchants and drug addicts. To make matters worse, he is haunted by images of a young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who seems to have some dark connection to his family's wartime past. Leslie's performance is a little on the wooden side, and director Tony Krawitz makes a number of missteps, including a bizarre sex scene that might just be there to pad out the already slim running time. But the story is strange and compelling, and the theme of the dangers of returning ignorantly to the past is powerfully explored.