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Movie Review: ‘House at the End of the Street’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue

Posted: September 21, 2012 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

One of the biggest criticisms of modern horror films is that there are no new stories…that everything is derivative. House at the End of the Street will not change that criticism.

House at the End of the Street (or as its twitter friendly trailer calls it “#HATES”) stars Jennifer Lawrence (Elissa) and Elisabeth Shue (Sarah) as a mother and daughter who find a great deal on a spacious rural home. The only caveat being that the neighboring home was the site of a brutal murder where a teenage daughter viciously murdered both of her parents. Surprisingly, this is not news to Elissa and Sarah. They are fully aware of the house’s history and explain their decision to rent it by saying that their former neighborhood was the site of several shootings and never saw a drop in rent there.

Elissa and Sarah soon learn that the son of the murdered parents is still living in the house and is according to the townspeople, quite an “animal”. The other neighbors make it quite clear that they wish the house would be demolished in order to restore their property value.

The overall concept of the story is fairly standard fare. There are elements of the “misunderstood outcast”, the “seedy suburbanites” and various other aspects of films like Carrie and Psycho. Where the film really falters though is in its script and sound design. In case the audience doesn’t know when to be scared, the long crescendos will certainly remind them. Forced dialogue, contrived plot points and overused horror tropes also keep this film from being anything special.

The acting is fine, but nothing spectacular. Jennifer Lawrence does the most with what she’s given and the surviving neighbor boy, Ryan (played by Max Thieriot, Jumper) plays his role well.

The single word that would best describe this film is “adequate”. It fills the need of another PG-13 horror movie released before Halloween. It provides a number of jump scares and a decent, if not derivate twist ending. If you’ve seen all the other movies at the multiplex and simply want to see the latest horror movie, check out HATES. If you have anything else you could be doing with your time, skip it.


Worth Your Money

-Not Worth Your Money-

Worth Somebody Else’s Money

House End of Street Poster