johnlink ranks HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (2012)

A movie with the word “house” in its title has at least a 70/30 shot of being a horror movie. This Jennifer Lawrence vehicle is no exception. This was filmed in 2010 before her fame erupted, but released in 2012 when she was well known. Would she have done the movie if she were as big a name in 2010? Probably not. Does that mean this is a bad movie. Well…


I watched HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (2012) on 11.14.13. It was my first viewing of the film.

Putting Jennifer Lawrence on screen is a sure fire way to keep me interested in a movie. I haven’t been as enamored with an actress since my high school Jennifer Love Hewitt days (don’t judge me). Lawrence is magnetic, graceful, and wonderfully talented.

She makes a generic horror movie better than it should be, which isn’t to say its any good even with her presence. HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET starts well enough. Elissa (Lawrence) and her mom (Elisabeth Shue acting as if her character is a grown up version of her LEAVING LAS VEGAS prostitute) move into a giant house. They certainly wouldn’t be able to afford it, except a murder happened next door. The boy of the murdered family is all grown up now. He’s Ryan (Max Thieriot), and he’s dreamy. Understandably, Ryan and Elissa have a thing.

Only, first, Elissa has to prove her virtue by spurning the advances of the glossy pretty boy Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk). Tyler is a partier who would totally rape Elissa if he could. But she’s too cool to let that happen, so she shows him what’s up. It’s all very much cliche and trite. It manages to set the tone well enough, but not in any sort of well structured manner.

It seems as if another member of the murdered family may have survived, and that Ryan may know something about it. The movie does have a couple of unexpected twists, but the climax is too paint-by-numbers post reveal.

The film is ably shot by Mark Tonderai. It looks better on screen than another movie of this PG-13 teen-horror genre might.  Though perhaps, heavy handed on the color filters, he chooses interesting shots in and around his car scenes to make them pop a little more than expected. Unfortunately, all the clever camera set ups in the world can’t make up for generic plotting.

But Jennifer Lawrence moves through this movie like she doesn’t care how uninspired it is. She still delivers, and she’s still great to watch. This is a movie which will justifiably be forgotten as her career moves on. But many better actors have many worse movies on the bottom end of their resume. But if Lawrence isn’t a draw for you, there’s no other reason to see this movie.





~ by johnlink00 on November 15, 2013.

4 Responses to “johnlink ranks HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (2012)”

  1. Agreed. Lawrence does what she can. So does Theriot (who might not be as good as he is in Disconnect but is still excellent here).

    Still, it doesn’t matter. The movie is just too flawed.

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