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Monday, September 24, 2012

HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET Review. Don't Go Down This Street


Did this movie scare the pants off of RAMA?

A thriller that has potential, the concept isn’t all that bad once you think about it twice after the movie ends, the problem is the execution and the delivery. I think there are better ways to handle this concept, sadly it’s handled this way instead. HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET is a thriller that waited almost two years so it can bank on Jennifer Lawrence’s now popular status but perhaps this is one film that should’ve remained shelved…

Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah (Oscar®-nominee Elisabeth Shue; Leaving Las Vegas, Piranha 3D) and her daughter Elissa (Oscar®-nominee Jennifer Lawrence; The Hunger Games, X-Men: First Class) find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared – leaving only a brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot, My Soul to Take), as the sole survivor. Against Sarah’s wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan – and the closer they get, the deeper they’re all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined. 

I enjoy the Hitchcockian psychological aspect of this film, that HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET offers more than just your usual scares, that this is not just about a group of teens stuck in the middle of nowhere and end up being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw, not that I didn’t enjoy that formulaic plotline either. The twists and turns in this film are very interesting because with each reveal, you’d get more interested to see what really happened to the lead characters in the past and what extra secrets they’ve kept. Without spoiling much, eventually you the audience will understand why a certain girl tries and tries to run away, it’s because she’s not who the movie would have us believe at first.

But alas, the direction is mediocre at best, it couldn’t meet the concept halfway, I think the script could’ve been more well written or more well composed, the film badly wants to be character driven and it shows good signs of heading that direction but it doesn’t do enough and I think the physically demanding sequences are poorly staged or choreographed, so what you get are a few unintentionally laughable moments. At the center of it all, there’s this mother-daughter story where the daughter seems more responsible than her mom and her mom wants to make up for lost times but her busy schedule doesn’t allow her to, it all leads up those two fighting for survival, that’s good and all but instead of center, that whole part often feels more like a side dish. Actor Max Thieriot has the toughest job of playing the most complex character in this film and he does well in playing the misunderstood Ryan Jacobson, but he doesn’t have enough intensity and conviction to pull the other side of Ryan Jacobson.1 I think you’re better off not ever visiting that one creepy HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET.

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