HT Schuyler: House at the End of the Street Review

Posted: October 12, 2012 by htschuyler in HT Schuyler's Movie Reviews

Rated 14A for violence, language and terror.

Directed by: Mark Tonderai.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot and Gil Bellows.

House at the End of the Street is about a teenager girl who moves into a new house in the woods with her mother and discovers that the house behind her had a murder happen a while ago and then shit gets “scary”. Okay enough with that, time to bitch about the title: Spoiler alert: At no point in the film does someone say “Hey, what’s with the HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET?” or, “The murder took place in the HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET” or even “Oh, he lives in the HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET”. In fact, no one even acknowledges that the scary house even IS at the end of the street, or a house for that matter…looks more like a cottage. Perhaps they were trying to cash in on the spectacular success of Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, or maybe one of the writers was just lazy as shit…most likely the latter. Alright, so with this positive attitude in mind, let’s dive into The Last House on the Left at the End of the Street………..vs Predator.

Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) has just moved into a new house (at the end of the street) with her mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue). They quickly discover that the house behind them (at the end of the street) has a dark history: a few years ago the daughter killed both parents and now the brother Ryan (Max Thieriot) lives alone there. Soon Elissa starts seeing Ryan and shit spirals out of control until we eventually learn a devastating twist that actually makes the movie exciting for a bit.

Acting wise, it’s mediocre at best. Jennifer Lawrence is a strong enough actress to hold a movie on her own, which she proved in that little hipster movie The Hunger Games, and she does an okay job at carrying the movie, but the problem is; her character is a complete and utter bitch. At no point did I like her and was happy when she was inevitably in danger. At one point her and Ryan are riding in his car, then out of nowhere she just blurts out “You’re parents where killed” or some stupid shit like that. Why? For no reason. She was a bitch to everyone and I despised her. Max Thieriot starts off pretty good, playing up the shy, quiet character he is suppose to be, but towards the end, when he is actually required to show some emotion, he falls really flat and ultimately just ends up just being bland. Elisabeth Shue is probably the best part about the movie. Yeah at times she comes off as the over stressed bitchy mom, but that’s what she’s suppose to be. My favourite scenes were the ones where she was telling Elissa off. She is definitely a strong point in the film. As far as other characters go, there’s Elissa’s friend played by Allie MacDonald, but she’s hardly in it and is basically forgotten by the end, then there’s Sarah’s cop friend played by Gil Bellows. I enjoyed his scenes with Elisabeth Shue, and his character does actually make sense, so consider him high point number two.

The Good:

Unfortunately the things I enjoyed about the film all happen towards the end, so there’s really not a whole lot I can say. I found the story pretty interesting and unique, because at first I thought this was going to be just another generic slasher movie, but it actually played up the dramatic elements which was nice. Also I really enjoyed the twist at the end, as I honestly wasn’t expecting it.

The Bad:

After the very bland opening sequence, the first thing one will notice about this film is that it’s FUCKING BORING. The movie moves at a painfully slow pace, and there are so few interesting scenes to keep you interested. They could have cut out a good hour of this movie and just made it a short film, that’s how short the actual substance is. Also, the violence. There are some rather gruesome ideas in this movie, but they are executed so poorly that they cease to be scary or shocking and just look lame. Now, this movie is rated 14A (that’s PG-13 for our American readers), which means that the violence is either avoided or looks like utter shit. Now, there are some dark moments in the film, but they are completely ruined by the toned down violence and look really, really lame. I know it would have made nowhere near as much money, but it really should have been made for an R rating. There is one scene where Elissa goes to a party with a local boy named Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk), and what are these crazy teenagers doing? Drinking soda and playing cards. BAD.ASS. They later establish that they had been drinking, but not once do they show any alcohol in sight. Why? Probably because it would have ruined their PG-13 rating. So, what sucks? Boring story, annoying protagonist, cheesy scares and violence and overall just no reason to care.

In Conclusion:

This mouthful of a title film probably would have been straight to DVD if it had not been for Jennifer Lawrence’s big break in teen fan favourite The Beaver, which is obviously why they decided to put this in theatres. It makes sense that they did, and it’s not the worst horror movie I’ve seen in theatres this year (That’s My Boy already secured that spot), but overall this movie is just bland and uninteresting. I do like the initial concept, story and twist, but it was just poorly handled and overall felt like a mess. If they maybe had a different cast, maybe a more competent director and an R rating, then this could have been really good. As it stands…it just sucks.

5.5/10

Comments
  1. r361n4 says:

    I’d have thought your score would’ve been much lower based off of the review, but I guess average can be even worse than horrible sometimes for the sheer fact that you don’t remember the film afterwards..

    I’m not really regretting missing this one, and with so many new releases this week I’m plenty busy enough to fill up my free time. You catching any of this week’s new releases?

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