Jennifer Lawrence starred in three major theatrical releases in 2012. One was The Hunger Games, which made $700 million worldwide. Another was Silver Linings Playbook, which earned her an Oscar. And then there was House at the End of the Street. Yeah.
House at the End of the Street is about a teenage girl named Elissa who looks really good in dirty tank tops who moves to a new town with her mother (Elisabeth Shue), looking for a fresh start. They end up next to the house where a horrible crime occurred (of course), but that doesn’t stop Elissa from bonding with the house’s sole remaining occupant Ryan (Max Thieriot). That’s all nice and romantic, except House at the End of the Street is a horror movie, so bad stuff happens.
I went into this movie with extremely low expectations set by the extremely bad marketing for the film. The trailers were Goddawful, going so far as to cut the movie out of chronological order in attempt to mask how dull the movie was inevitably going to be and darkening the face of the killer to hide his or her true identity. The movie has a 5.3 rating on IMDB and an 11% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, emphasizing the fact that the movie is a waste of time.
And then… what’s this? Could it be? Did I actually like House at the End of the Street? No! Nooo….
I did actually sort of like House at the End of the Street. It’s not a great movie, and it is somewhat predictable, and the final few minutes are about as cliché as the final few minutes in horror movies can be, but I did actually sort of like the movie. Both Lawrence and Thieriot are good in their respective roles, and the twist, while not incredible, works more than it has every right to. The movie held my attention thanks to the fast paced and tense direction by Mark Tonderai, and everything that occurs remains within the realm of believability, more or less.
On the flip side, it takes a long time for anything to happen and the movie isn’t very scary.
House at the End of the Street isn’t a great movie, but it defies low expectations and delivers a fun story that works more often than not.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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