Directed by Mark Tonderai, ‘House at the End of the Street‘ is a 2012 psychological thriller based on a screenplay by David Loucka and released through Relativity Media.
Sarah Cassidy (Elisabeth Shue) moves with her teenage daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) moves from Chicago to a small upscale suburb where they move into a large house where there is an urban legend surrounding their neighbor Ryan Jacobson (Max Thieriot). Apparently, four years prior, his sister Carrie-Anne (Eva Link) murdered his parents and vanished into the woods. After local teen Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk) tries to get frisky with her, she walks home and encounters Ryan, who gives her a ride home. Sarah doesn’t trust Ryan, but local Police Officer Bill Weaver (Gil Bellows) assures he’s just misunderstood. However, Ryan is harboring a secret. His sister is alive and the truth is far more frightening than the legend.
When the movie first premiered, it was slammed by critics and I understand why. The story is incredibly simple and has way too many twists that feel gimmicky than clever, especially the final twist at the conclusion of the film. It also has these secondary characters that just seem to disappear after they serve their purpose.
However, I do think they were a bit hard on it. It does have some chilling moments and while it is not as scary as the producers probably intended, it does keep your attention throughout its running time. It is an underrated movie that, sure, is nothing extraordinary, but it has a decent plot and a cold atmosphere that will keep you hooked in.
Now, Jennifer Lawrence delivers an excellent performance. You can feel the tension between her and the other characters as well as her desire to get to know her curious neighbor. Likewise, I feel that Max Thieriot’s performance was underrated. He does a good job of building up the empathy you have for him.
Bottom line, House at the End of the Street, while nothing mind-blowing, is a decent thriller that has some excellent performances, especially from Jennifer Lawrence who delivers on every level.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Frightening images, Gory violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: People don’t notice all the secrets around them. Even though they’re right in front of them, just hiding, waiting to be found.
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.