The only reason that I looked forward to ‘House at the End of the Street’ at all was because the film stars Oscar-nominee Jennifer Lawrence. Sure, I have a crush on her – but more importantly, I think that she’s a fantastic actress. I assumed, “There’s no way that she’d do a movie like this unless it was better than the rest.” Boy, was I wrong. ‘House at the End of the Street’ falls right in line with every other lousy PG-13 scary movie. It can’t be labeled as “horror” because there’s no horror to it. This is a teen thriller without the thrills. It’s clichéd, generic and utterly skippable.
A single mother (Elisabeth Shue) and her teenage daughter (Lawrence) move to rural home that would typically be way outside their means if not for its depreciating property value. What’s wrong with the place? Well, I think the opening scene of the movie explains that best. The closest house to their rental is one where a teenage girl (who holds her head forward so that her hair covers her face, of course) once brutally murdered her parents. Now, the only surviving son in that family (a twenty-something weirdo) lives there alone.
We’re constantly told, but never shown, that Lawrence’s character looks for people to “fix.” So, when she meets the outcast neighbor from the house next door (not “the house at the end of the street,” because it’s never established or referred to as “the house at the end of the street”), she takes him on as her project. A typical protective mother, Shue’s character fights against her daughter to prove a point. Something not-so-scary or thrilling will happen because of her new relationship.
Absolutely nothing happens in ‘House at the End of the Street’ until the end. The 75 minutes leading up to the conclusion are pointless. Even then, the supposedly climactic ending just goes on and on and on. When the monster in your movie is a teenage girl with brain damage, you’ve got problems – but that’s just one of many. I’ll refrain from spoiling everything else that sucks.
Unless you’re a glutton for PG-13 “scary” movies, turn the car around. ‘House at the End of the Street’ is a dead-end.