House at the End of the Street

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House At The End Of The Street
By Wilson Morales

Whenever you have a film that has the word ‘House’ or something similar in its title, you know that nothing good comes of this. Either the house is haunted, or some terrible event happened there. That being said, with films like ‘Cabin in the Woods,’ ‘The House of the Devil,’ or even Vincent Price’s ‘House of Usher,’ you can predict ‘House at the End of the Street’ from start to finish. So the question you may ask yourself, is why bother going to see another retread?  Not even Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence’s presence can manage to hold your attention while you wait for her to complete the paint-by-numbers steps you already created in your head.

Directed by Zimbabwe native Mark Tonderai, who previously helmed a 2009 British horror/thriller called ‘Hush,’ this film is a steadfast, unpleasant cliché  of seeing one enter the house, discovering its evil presence, and finding a way out alive.

Lawrence plays Elissa, a teenager who has just moved into a new house with her single mom Sarah (Elizabeth Shue). It’s established early that they were able to rent the house at a cheap price because the house across, as seen in the opening of the film, was the place where a young girl murdered her two parents years ago. Because the girl’s brother Ryan was not present during the murders, he still lives alone there. The town’s residents are annoyed at him because the house decreased everyone’s property value and he refuses to sell it or move.

While Sarah works late at a hospital, Elissa takes a shine to Ryan after reluctantly sharing a ride home during a rainy evening. With Sarah urging Ryan to stay away from Elissa, he’s more encouraged to do so because of some occurrences that are going on in the house.

As much as Elissa wants to be figure Ryan out and be more than a friend, she doesn’t realize what she’s getting into as she gets to closer to discovering the mystery involving the house.

Once you see that house is near the woods, and something is lurking in the background, then it takes seconds before the music is cued to make your bones jump when the moment gets intense. With “Winters’ Bone” and “The Hunger Games” under her belt, one can’t expect Lawrence to get the best of the lot when it comes to scripts. She’s still under 25 and a film like this seems like the perfect throwaway film one can watch without being deeply involved emotionally. Max Theiriot does a decent playing the loner individual who wants to be accepted, but after doing “My Soul To Take” a few years ago, a role like this didn’t require much for him to do but work with his facial expressions.

In the end, if you’re in the mood for a good jolt and want to see Lawrence in a predictable horror/ thriller, then you can tolerate this film. If not, go see something original.


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