Film Review: The House At the End of the Street

House_at_The_End_of_the_StreetTitle: The House At the End of the Street
Director: Mark Tonderai
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot
Year: 2012
Source: On Netflix
Purchase: Amazon/B&N

Blurb from Amazon:
Newly divorced Sarah and her daughter Elissa seek a fresh start in a new town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, they’re pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.

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Case File: Jennifer Lawrence/Badly Executed Plot/ Interesting End Twist/
Rating: Watch on TV

Skip the film. Or  watch it when it is on TV. It really was not that great. It was okay. If you are a fan of Jennifer Lawrence (wildly raises hand), watch it. She is the only redeeming factor in the film.

Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) moves to a new suburb and befriends the town outcast, Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot), whose family was brutally murdered by his younger sister. Turns out Ryan has a few secrets like keeping his sister locked up in tunnel under the basement. That has a plot twist as well. The film has identity problems because it is not sure if it a serial killer movie, a schizophrenic character driven movie, or how it was promoted on Twitter with the #Hates, I thought it was going to be about a haunted house.

For a horror psychological thriller, it lacks all three characteristics. The scare jumps are all predictable, especially the flashlight moment. It is a mellow film until the end where Elissa proves that she is a strong protagonist because she is able to escape multiple times from her captor. She is smart enough to kick out the backseat of a car in order to escape, brave enough to suffer heat wounds, she is kick ass.

The end is where the movie could have been save if they actually written that movie. They would have pulled a Norman Bates but that would have made more sense than what Ryan was doing with the Carrie Anne’s. The film started the Norman Bates allusions in the beginning, the middle section became typical serial killer, and it ends with a forced Norman Bates scene. The middle of the film is interesting because Carrie Anne looks like a villain but as the film progresses,we see more from her perspective and realize what is going on. The middle just doesn’t explain where the fracture happened between Ryan and Carrie Anne and why did they become two different persons. There should have been a Dr. Loomis to explain what happened.

Upon reading the added scenes in the unrated version of the film, it paints Officer Bill Weaver in a different light, especially when he says “I protected you” to Ryan because I thought it meant protection from the townies who hated Ryan. It could be that Weaver was actually covering up Ryan’s crimes which could have been a better angle to explore in the film because the amount of hatred Ryan receives is unbelievable and it doesn’t just come from a having a murder house driving property value down. (Lizzie Borden’s house is a museum and she may or may have not murdered her parents).

The film had potential but it was just badly executed because it was not sure in what direction to run. It gave up somewhere in the middle trying to find itself and just when back the beginning in order to end the film. Like in the original murder of the parents, I just thought “That it was one masculine female because she has man’s arms, like she is really buff for a 13 year old girl, why can’t I have those arms” and in the end “That’s why I can’t have those arms.”

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watch on tv

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