Man, 2012 was a banner year for Jennifer Lawrence. Chances are if you saw one movie starring Jennifer Lawrence it was The Hunger Games… If you saw a second movie with Jennifer Lawrence it was Silver Linings Playbook, however… There was a third movie starring Jennifer Lawrence that was released in 2012 that you might have missed during its theatrical run.
The House at the End of the Street isn’t your typical teen action film or awards contender. No… Instead it’s a fairly straightforward horror film. Jennifer stars as Elissa who has just rented a house with her mother played by the always amazing Elisabeth Shue. In the house next to Elissa’s a horrible brutal murder happened that shook up the waspy town. Elissa and her mother Sara thought the house was abandoned, but alas Ryan, the son of the murdered couple, still lives there… and is holding his sister who seemingly committed the murders locked in the basement.
Basically your typical suburban issues, noisy kids, unmowed lawns and a crazy possibly killer locked in a basement in the house next to you. Elissa also has to deal with the douchey quasi-popular kids especially Tyler played by Nolan Gerard Funk who needs to eat some carbs. I’m just saying.
Anyway, being the vanilla rocker that she is, Elissa is curious about the dark bad hottie living in the house next to her. Why is it, that every possible crazy in films could be in an Abercrombie ad? It’s fine, I mean who doesn’t like Abercrombie ads? In real life these guys would look like Clint Howard on a bad day. But I’m really not complaining.
The cast is pretty amazing, Elisabeth Shue is an Oscar nominee for God sakes and Jennifer Lawrence is a two time nominee plus she’s pretty damn amazing in nearly every project that she does. It’s a tad frustrating that they aren’t given all that much to work with in terms of character development. Both actresses however, really do elevate the material especially Elisabeth Shue. I thought she did a great job in what could have become a throwaway thankless part.
Jennifer Lawrence adds more levels than would normally be expected in a thriller like this one. The jumps are fairly typical even though director Mark Tonderai tries to help set the tone with hand held camera work and honestly the plot is paint by numbers. However, I’m a horror fan. I buy into the plot contrivances and tend to go with the more ludicrous decisions the characters make. I want to have fun while watching a movie like this and if you have that attitude you’ll probably enjoy it as well.
I mean, look… If I wanted to watch a heavy award worthy film, I would pop in Lincoln but when you want to have fun with a slick horror film, popping in The House at the End of the Street wouldn’t be a bad choice.
The blu-ray itself looks good. The picture quality pops onscreen and the scenes of Elisa running through the house are intentionally grainy and add to the suspense of the film.
There are not many special features except the original theatrical trailer and a presskit worthy behind the scenes titled Journey Into Terror. This is a short making of doc but it does add some insight into why Jennifer Lawrence would be interested in the project. It also helps explain director Mark Tonderai’s vision for the project and his passion for it as well.
Bottom line, if you like a fun popcorn thriller go ahead and give this a spin. It’s not going to change the face of horror films but it’s a fun film to watch with a group of friends.
The House at the End of the Street is out now on blu-ray and dvd!
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