After “The Hunger Games” came out in March, it seemed like there was no limit to what Jennifer Lawrence could do. With “House at the End of the Street,” Lawrence has shown us that, even with a somewhat simple plot, she can make a movie worth watching.
“House at the End of the Street” directed by Mark Tonderai, was co-produced by “The Bourne Legacy” production company, Relativity Media, “Chernobyl Diaries” producers FimNation and “Saw: The Final Chapter producers” A Bigger Boat. If the Tonderai does not sound familiar, it is because to date, “House” is the only blockbuster to come out of Tonderai’s hands. Although the cast is a little better known. “The Hunger Games” star, Lawrence plays the smart and beautiful Elissa, Max Thieriot (“Jumper”), plays Lawrence’s loner love interest Ryan and Elissa’s mother is played by Elisabeth Shue (TV’s “CSI”).
“House” follows Elissa and her mother, Sarah as they move into a new home. As with all new houses, questions of the neighborhood arise. Such as what happened in the house next door to Elissa and her mother? Within the first five minutes we discover that a girl next door killed her parents, before disappearing. Without giving away the rest of the movie, weird things begin to happen to Elissa and her mother. This is where we meet Ryan, the son of the murdered parents, who had been living with his aunt at the time of the killing.
First, something that should be addressed are the weaknesses in the way the film was shot. The camera is slightly shaky, and in many parts, is crooked, in what seems like the director’s way of making the movie more than it is. The producers and director should have taken the movie for what it is, a horror/thriller, not a work of cinematographic beauty. Second, another problem comes about through the jumpy scenes. By this, viewers will see that the movie jumps a lot with no real flow. This causes the movie to have a somewhat unfortunate plot and instead of watching a full movie, viewers may feel like they are watching clips of an incomplete project.
In terms of strengths, “House” does have a few. The first is a few plot twists: one that could be foreseen, and two that will shock viewers. In addition, there is a very serene setting throughout the movie. This sets the movie up for some pretty intense running sequences. And this goes with another strength in some parts, intensity and suspense lead to the scariest moments within the movie. In so many ways this is where the movie must be given credit. A lot of times, critics love to critique horror movies the way that they would a film like “The Artist.” The problem with this is the fact that these movies are not supposed to be some beautiful, in depth film. Horror is about what scares you. A strength of this movie should is that, while not leaving the viewer too scared after its end, it will make people jump with fear while in the theater. The last pro would be the fact that the movie’s actors are pretty well assembled. Lawrence works especially well, but also her two supporting actors, Thieriot and Shue. While not being as well known, they work well together.
“House” really is not a bad movie when taken for what it is. strengths will provide some in-movie scares, plot twists and some pretty good acting. All of these pros definitely make the movie worth watching, even if the camera and flow are sometimes off.