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|Index||154 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Please note, this is my first review, so bear with me!
We arrived at the theater wanting to see Looper, but it was sold out and our other choices were House at the End of the Street, Frankenweenie, or Taken 2 (which we had already seen). We chose HATES because with a title like that, it had to have a few suspenseful moments and good jumps, right?
This movie had potential. The beginning had every ingredient of a decent horror movie. Two vulnerable, good looking women living alone in the woods next to an empty house that was the scene of a gruesome double murder. Perfect!
About 20 minutes in to the movie, it kind of became a teenage love story. It became very pathetic, very quickly. But just when you thought "how can this movie get any worse", it does!
They add a decent twist which was at least semi-unique, I'll give them that. The problem is that they took the typical horror route and added terrible acting and plot lines.
I wouldn't waste your time or money going to see this film. If I hadn't been with a large group of friends, I would have walked out fairly early in the movie. The only good part was that I paid half price to see it (cheap movie night at the theater).
Shot in summer 2010, but released two years later to capitalize
Jennifer Lawrence's mass popularity after making headlines with her
Oscar-nominated performance in WINTER'S BONE (2010) and later became an
instant superstar for starring in this year's box-office hit, THE
HUNGER GAMES. However, her new movie, HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET,
is a dreadful psychological thriller that tries too hard to venture
into PSYCHO-like territory but comes up terribly short. Interestingly
enough, the movie has been heavily promoted with a designated Twitter
hashtag under the short title of #HATES. How ironic! The movie begins
with a hyperactive prologue -- annoyingly shot with lots of blinding
strobe lights -- where a psychotic teen massacring her unsuspecting
parents one fateful night, before vanishing into the woods. It's
certainly a bad start that hardly registers any sense of worthwhile
thrills. From there, it never regains its footing and goes downhill all
Flash forward to four years, we are now introduced to a spunky high-school student Elissa (Lawrence) and her recently-divorce mom Sarah Cassidy (Elisabeth Shue), where both of them move into a house at the small Pennsylvania town of Woodshire, in hope to start fresh. But coincidentally, the house next door to them is where the infamous double homicide happened four years earlier. The place is now resided by the elder son, Ryan (Max Thieriot). He's a quiet teenager who is branded an outcast from the rest of the local peoples around. But not for Elissa, who somehow feels sorry for him and gradually drawn to his quiet personality. As their relationship blossoms into two lovebirds, little is known to Elissa that Ryan is actually keeping his thought-dead psychotic sister locked under the basement of his home.
Despite branded as a thriller and carries such title like HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, it's extremely baffling that the movie is almost suspense-free throughout its wimpy 101-minute running time. Apparently director Mark Tonderai has no idea what makes a good thriller at all. He also has no sense of pacing, while his directing style is a stylistic mess (shaky-cam, Dutch angles, etc.) In the meantime, David Loucka's script (who also wrote last year's equally awful DREAM HOUSE) spends too much time lingering around with its pathetic Hallmark-like storyline involving two lovebirds (Elissa and Ryan) slowly goes wrong. Seriously, the whole movie drags a lot it feels like forever. Even by the time the movie starts to act like a thriller for the final half an hour's mark, it's all too late and too little. Not only that, the climactic payoff is also a huge disappointment. Suspenseful moments are poorly executed in the utmost generic way possible.
Poor Jennifer Lawrence, who is clearly wasted in her otherwise meaty role she could have done better. Instead, Tonderai spends most of the time focusing more on her cleavage shot (a lot of scenes involving her in a tight white top) and little on her dramatic acting skill. As the reclusive Ryan, Max Thieriot is fairly adequate here. And Norman Bates, he is not. Meanwhile, Elisabeth Shue delivers some worthwhile performance as the overprotective mom, Sarah.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET is mostly a boring movie. Even with all the twists Tonderai and Loucka thrown in to sustain viewers' interest, particularly at the surprise epilogue, the movie is a colossal waste of time. I guess, if not for Jennifer Lawrence in the credit, this movie should have been dumped for direct-to-DVD release instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The trailer for the movie made it look decent. I didn't have overly
high expectations for the film going in. Every October I try and watch
as many horror movies in theaters as I can. This one made the list for
The first hour of the movie has the feeling of the late 70's early 80's suspense horror films. You know, the ones that build up and build up all the while being slightly too slow to be good but you stick with it because you know the climax is coming.
So I set through the first hour of this movie with it's horrible camera shots which includes, close-ups that are too close and more than one camera shot that was out of focus for no good reason. I also set through the bad acting. The more movies I see Jennifer Lawrence in (who's the main actress) the more I realize that she's not a very good actress. There's just no depth there. Beyond my growing dislike for her, I know Elisabeth Shue is a capable actress and her performance in this movie was almost as lacking as Jennifer Lawrence. This leads me to believe that the bad camera shots and bad acting are both the directors fault. One hour of absolutely no horror. No horror for an hour of a horror movie. Basically the first hour was build up. Though some points of the movie were laughable it had a slight old school horror movie build-up, bad acting and laugh-ability that kept me watching.
Where the movie failed for me was the climatic finish. The turn from the hour build-up to realizing what was going on was actually pretty great. The Penn State shirt was the best shot of the film. The problem was that once the "bad guy" had been revealed the movie was WAY too predictable to still be enjoyable. Beyond all of that there were several weak, unrealistic, Hollywood sequences in the movie that weren't overlook-able because the movie was too bad to overlook such flaws. In addition the movie steals several angles from movies like Sleepaway Camp and Frankenstein that would have been homage paying if the movie was better but since it wasn't better, it was just insulting in my opinion. I thought I was going into a horror movie but it ended up feeling more like an hour long teen drama with a half hour semi-horror movie ending. I say semi-horror movie because only 3 people died in this movie beyond the opening sequence. One of them didn't have a speaking role. Another was only in one speaking scene and the third had a very minimal role.
Though disappointing for a theatrical release it would have been a descent find for a straight to BluRay/Netflix movie. Unfortunately it was not straight to a Redbox near me and I felt my money was wasted in theaters.
Just so this isn't all negative I'll say that I really did enjoy the Penn State reveal and the actor/actress who played the killer did a good job though I really didn't see him/her as the killer so much.
4 of 10 - Wait for DVD and only watch this if you're a suspense thriller fan who enjoys the average to below average thrillers.
I see almost all movies my public library buys and this is one of them.
Plus I have become a fan of sorts of Jennifer Lawrence, the camera
really loves her face, she is a natural to become a real "movie star."
While I certainly would not put this movie in my list of top movies, it
is rather well made and the story held my attention.
The rest of my comments contain SPOILERS so don't read further if you haven't seen the movie.
The first 4 1/2 minutes take us right into the center of the mystery, we see a daughter of maybe 13 or 14 kill her mother in the home then go into the bedroom and kill her father, then she runs away through the woods. Later we are told she was presumed to have drowned.
It is now 4 years later, Jennifer Lawrence is teenager Elissa, she and her mother, Elisabeth Shue as Sarah , are moving from Chicago to this area and are renting the house just a short distance away, through a small stand of trees. They are told the house is vacant but Sarah sees a light on late one night. It turns out the deceased family's son, Max Thieriot as Ryan, lives there apparently alone. But we find out he isn't alone, he is keeping his sister Carrie Ann hidden in a basement room, apparently taking care of her.
But nothing is as it seems to be, as Elissa finds Ryan smart, gentle and interesting, we find out he is actually deranged. When his sister had actually died in a childhood swing accident, in flashbacks we see that his parents blamed him and tried to raise him as their daughter. It was actually Ryan dressed like a girl that had killed his parents during the night, and in present time he kidnaps teenage girls, imprisons them in his hidden basement room, puts blue contacts on them, and calls them Carrie Ann, his deceased sister. When he accidentally kills one he disposes of the body then gets another one. It seems Elissa might be next.
In the final scenes Elissa breaks free of her restraints, while Sarah comes looking for her, and together they get the upper hand, just barely. As the movie ends Ryan is in a mental ward.
It almost always starts with a piece of real estate tagged to an
incredibly hard to believe price, meaning dirt cheap for the kind of
view it commands or the neighbourhood it is part of. Then of course
there's a catch, since the place will probably be part of a crime
scene, or the perfect confluence for the supernatural to come together
to celebrate Halloween every night. The buyers themselves are either
folks who are writers looking for inspiration, or turn out to be those
looking to put behind their emotional baggage for a new life ahead. You
will probably run out of fingers to count the number of movies made
from the same mold in recent years.
Then you'll soon realize that the clichés in the film are tremendous, from throwaway cops, torchlights that don't work, to creepy neighbours who are more than meets the eye. You may decide to be gung ho about it, or to spare it some precious time for that glimmer of hope that it'll turn out to be fairly entertaining for what it's worth, but you'll find that trust betrayed with each long drawn out dramatic scene that tries to add some depth to the characters, but ended up turning the narrative into a long winded one with throwaway caricatures you don't really care much for. And the lapses into jump cuts that try so hard to provide some cheap scares, just make things a lot worse.
The other word of caution is that Jonathan Mostow was slated to write-direct this some 10 years ago, but now have handed over this project to director Mark Tonderai and writer David Loucka to come and salvage something from it. Perhaps the only saving grace comes from a somewhat "star" lister in Jennifer Lawrence, having made her name in X-Men: First Class, and spearheading The Hunger Games most recently, but even then the filmmakers failed to make it count where it mattered, preferring to rely on her many cleavage baring, tight tank tops to try and make a point, not.
Elizabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence star as mother-daughter Sarah and Elissa, who find themselves a nice abode in the middle of the woods of a small town, where the townsfolk aren't all that keen that their new neighbours had moved in next to a house that bore witness to two killings, which the prologue introduces us to. Soon, Elissa finds herself drawn to the sole survivor of that massacre in Ryan (Max Thieriot) despite her mother's objections, and we're left wondering if the aloof Ryan is really a real Boo Radley type who is much maligned by everyone else, or is actually hiding something a lot more sinister especially when it had to do with his supposedly missing sister Carrie Anne (Eva Link), accused of murdering their parents in cold blood.
Movie goers will probably be able to stay multiple steps ahead of this insipid storyline, if only they can stay awake for the first hour where the movie decided to go all over the place in showing how Sarah and Elissa try to fit in to their new environment, in school and at the hospital, making friends with the police and teenage peers for a rock concert that doesn't materialize because a modestly budgeted film will not allow for one. Things start to turn a wee bit interesting when Ryan enters the picture, with red herrings and suggestions thrown about at will, but only if given time to properly gestate into a proper back story, or sub plot. Instead, these potential ideas got quickly glossed over, coupled with a ridiculous ending that sees a desperate epilogue thrown in to salvage some points. That didn't work, because instead of being smart, it turned out to be way too silly and ridiculous.
Still, this is something Jennifer Lawrence's fans will flock to in order to see their heroine in kicking butt. Watch out though for Max Thieriot's performance, which given a proper script, could really get under your skin as genuinely creepy.
I am glad I saw the movie House at the end of the street . Directed by Mark Tonderaai, the movie is scary, edited well and has pleasant cast. Jennifer Lawrence as Elissa , Elisabeth Shue as Elissa's mom Sarah and Max Thieriot as Ryan are the most important characters in the movie. Carrie Anne as Ryan's sister is associated with spooky music, gory scenes and noises. I particularly liked the last scene when Ryan tells his mom he is not Carrie Anne. Excellent editing. very scary. Jennifer Lawrence did very well in Winter's bone& Hunger games. Max Thieriot as the quiet type Ryan did very well ( in some scenes he reminded me of Anthony Perkins in Psycho. i enjoyed the movie and was scared during many scenes.
I loved this movie, sure the acting wasn't always fantastic but while this movie had a slow start it had a great finish. I love movies like this. A good story with a twist and a lot of pop out make your heart stop moments.This was a very modern movie. I personally liked the plot and the whole movie was just the right length of time. Its rare to find a movie that doesn't need a lot of special effects to be terrifying. This one pulled it off, no supernatural or just far out there weird sci-fi stuff, just a genuinely very human scary movie. Well worth the cost to see on the big screen. P.S just so you know if you have the same movie taste here are some of my likes. Scream Halloween (the original) Disturbia The Grudge Insidious The Ring
SPOILER FREE (as if you won't figure it out on your own)
Cardboard but-out characters taken from any number of other films make it hard to sit through what seems like a much longer movie. The surprising shock twist is neither shocking nor surprising to any thriller/horror film fan worth their salt. Honestly, the plot line would have been more interesting (and surprising) if they hadn't veered into the direction they chose. The ending, stolen and poorly repackaged from previous films like most of the rest of the film, is one of the most unintentionally laughable things I have seen in a very long time. As it stands, I feel like my mother would have watched this on the Lifetime Movie Network.
The house at the end of the street is not a horror movie . It's more of
a suspense film. Mother and Daughter move into a beautiful home after a
bitter divorce. The mother is a doctor who works late hours the
Daughter played by Jenifer Lawrence is still in high school. She's a
singer with a lot of talent. Her mother played by Elizabeth Shue Wants
her daughter to fit in. But after a particularly rough first day in
which Elyssa is invited to one of the school's most popular students
and one of it's richest . She discovers a dark side to the high society
and does not like it. Meanwhile she has been watching the house at the
end of the street. She was told there was a double murder there about
20 years ago and that no one lives there. Then one night she sees a
light on in the house. And she becomes fascinated by the home's owner.
The son of the people who died there. She hears how his sister went
crazy one night and killed the parents and fled into the woods. Where
she is to this day no one knows.
His name is Ryan and he has a few deep dark secrets of his own.
Not really a horror movie. and not a thriller. You might call this suspense lite. You know there is something wrong with Ryan but you don't know what. and when you get the big reveal you feel kind of cheated. There is a lot that's not explained. Or if it is it's not explained properly. The only reason I watched it was because of Jennifer Lawrence. and that's the best part of the film plus you hear her sing which is a good thing. Other then that not much to recommend.
A mother (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) move to a
new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young
girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving
son (Max Thieriot), she learns the story is far from over.
Critics have praised Jennifer Lawrence for her performance saying that she "does her best with a dull and derivative script in this by-the-numbers suburban shocker", and that pretty much sums it up. Lawrence and her co-stars do a fine job, with some above average acting. Even the directing and cinematography is pretty good, but the story is rather lame, wavering between slow moments and "shocking" twists that are all-too-obvious.
The film grossed over $42.7 million worldwide, from a budget of $6.9 million. So, I guess even though it is not a memorable film that will become a classic, it served its purpose for the studio. It just had me sad for Shue, who has been moved to a supporting actress "mother" role... her days of leading lady seem to be behind her.
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