It’s rare that a horror movie surprises me, but there were a number of twists and turns in House At The End Of The Street that did just that. However, that being said, there was only one real thing this film had going for it, and that was lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence. The film was actually completed before Winter’s Bone, the project known for putting Lawrence on the map, so that answers the question you will undoubtedly have – what is an awarding winning actress doing in a movie like this?
House At The End Of Street doesn’t have a very original story. Sarah (played by Elisabeth Shue) and her daughter, Elissa (played by Jennifer Lawrence), have moved to a relatively secluded house in the woods in hopes of starting over. The community that surrounds them holds a chilling secret however, and as unexplainable events begin to unfold – it becomes apparent that the “house at the end of the street” contains a backstory that may not be exactly what it seems. Ryan (played by Max Thieriot) is the sole survivor in a family where his little sister killed their parents in their bed. Elissa is intrigued by Ryan, and she begins a friendship with him despite her mothers concerns.
No spoilers here, but it doesn’t take much for viewers to assume that this “friendship” between Ryan and Elissa is probably not going to end well. And saying the ride to this conclusion is messy and bumpy for the audience is a bit of an understatement. Execution is the main issue here with choppy edits from director Mark Tonderai and a rather lazy script from David Loucka and Jonathan Mostow. It’s a typical “don’t go down into the basement” film, but it’s made bearable by Jennifer Lawrence’s acting chops and fresh-faced beauty. The key word here is “bearable”. At the end of the day House At The End Of The Street is still a formulaic and forgettable thriller.
The DVD has a number of extras that fans will enjoy including: an unrated cut with new twists you didn’t see in the theater and Journey Into Terror: Inside House at the End of the Street a special featurette.
Overall, House At The End Of The Street lacks the originality and execution needed for it to really stand out in a genre full of films that suffer from mostly the same issues. While the script does throw a number of surprises in, ultimately you still know what’s going to happen to next.
Review By: Emma Loggins