House at the End of the Street

Directed By: Mark Tonderai

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

As I have said before in prior reviews of horror flicks, Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers do not scare me.  However, the depiction of truly insane people freaks me out.  Any time I see a female walking around in white pajamas with hair in her face and one crazy eye showing, I’m ready to run for the border.  Call it The Ring effect.  House at the End of the Street involves that kind of insanity, and I found it enjoyably disturbing.

House at the End of the Street is the story of Elissa Cassidy (Jennifer Lawrence).  Elissa just moved from Chicago to a new small town with her mom Sarah (Elisabeth Shue).   They are able to rent a huge house because a gruesome double murder occurred in the neighboring house.  Awhile back, a family lived in the home with their daughter Carrie Ann (Eva Link).   Carrie Ann brutally murdered her mother and father one night and escaped into the woods.  The police believe that she drowned, but her body was never found. The urban legend around town is that she is alive, and roaming the forest.

Elissa is curious about the house and the family’s story.  She is even more intrigued when she meets Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot), the sole survivor of the family tragedy.  Max was living with another family member at the time of the tragedy and he moved back to the family home when his family died so that he could feel close to them.  Elissa is not impressed by the snobs at her new school and Max seems sad, sweet and alone.  Much to her mother’s dismay she befriends Max and they develop a relationship.  All is going well, until secrets start to unravel and Elissa is dragged deep into the horror of the Jacobsen family.

House at the End of the Street is entertaining.  Jennifer Lawrence brings a bit of Katniss Everdeen to the role and is a tough heroine.  Elisabeth Shue also does well as the mom in this film.  (Although I could not stop thinking about Adventures in Babysitting every time I saw her).  Director Mark Tonderai definitely builds the suspense throughout the film and gives viewers just enough story and chills to keep you engaged throughout the film. True horror junkies who want to see a lot of blood and gore will not find that in this film; but there are some scenes that may make you jump in your seat.

Unfortunately, House at The End of the Street has the same pitfalls that many horror films do.  The heroine does incredibly stupid things like wandering around abandoned woods in the middle of the night, opening her door when she hears a strange noise outside, and going into dark basements in a house where a double murder occurred.  Who does that?  It is the sort of stuff that makes you want to hurl popcorn at the screen in incredulous disbelief.  In addition, there are some points of the film’s plot that I’m still struggling to understand and are frankly inexplicable.  Finally, the plot of House at the End of the Street is reminiscent of another incredibly popular horror film.  I won’t name the film because I think it will give too much away.  But in that respect, I’m sure that fans of the genre may see it as just a ripoff.

In any event, I thought the film had enough twists and turns to keep me engaged.  I give House a 0.06% rating and recommend tossing back a Corona with this one.