The new 2012 horror movie “House at the End of the Street” is a mixed bag. On one hand the first half of it is fairly trite and feels like it gave up the goods in the previews. On the other hand, the second half of the movie gives a different twist that allows for some decent tension. It still fails on some basic levels.
Sarah, played by Elizabeth Shue, and her daughter Elissa, played by Jennifer Lawrence, move into a big new house. Their next-door neighbor is the home where a girl killed her parents in their bed. The boy that lives there begins a relationship with Elissa. As they get closer they find themselves drawn more and more into the mystery of what happened in the house.
Looking at the good aspects of the movie Jennifer Lawrence brings a good performance. She is a fantastic actress. The writing is not the best for her character but she pulls it off. The other actor that impressed me was Gil Bellows as the Sheriff. He brings a very likable character to the screen.
The twist at the end is rather good. It would have been nice to have more interesting build up to it. At face value it comes off fairly dull at first. The film also has a lot of moments where it goes out of focus for no apparent reason. It’s a very strange choice.
Elizabeth Shue is painfully dull. The character of the boy next-door Ryan, played by Max Thieriot fills his screen time with far-off stares and dialogue that is a bizarre mix of mopey and dreamy. It takes you out of the mood considering the situation. Their lame attempts at acting can only be carried so far by the better actors.
As a whole this movie is pretty so-so. The first half is fairly crappy and the second half makes up for it with some good tension scenes. The problem is that there is a not much to make this whole movie a must see. It’s worth a rental at least. It’s got some creepy scenes but there are tons of plots holes and lumps of bad acting that weaken it. So if you are dying to see a thriller, than go and see it as a matinee.