Lawrence’s newest film lacks ‘scare factor’
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 00:09
I like a good horror movie just as much as the next person, but the newest thriller film “House at the End of the Street” left me feeling pretty paranoid about my next-door neighbors. I was ready to be scared out of my mind during the movie. Unfortunately, though, the film had only a few truly suspenseful moments, and the overall effect left me only slightly freaked.
Seeking a new start, Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) move into a beautiful new house in an upscale new town. The only catch is that they move next door to a house where a young girl brutally murdered her parents and then mysteriously disappeared. After a light flips on in the seemingly abandoned house late one evening, the new kids on the block discover that the sole survivor of the family, the older brother Ryan (Max Thieriot), still lives next door. Despite her mother’s wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with Ryan, who begins to open up to her and tell her about a swinging accident that left his sister brain damaged. We are led to believe that this incident is the reason the young girl killed her parents, but it wouldn’t be a real horror movie without a string of plot twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
The plot could have been really creepy, but the execution left a lot to be desired. The directors tried to be artsy with the camera angles and some different fading effects. This is a thriller, not a low budget indie film. The choppily edited, handheld camera effect didn’t do anything to improve the movie and ended up being a distraction.
I have to give props to Jennifer Lawrence, through. When an actor has played an iconic character in a major blockbuster hit, it is sometimes hard to shake that character from your mind when they are in other films (think Daniel Radcliffe in “The Woman in Black”). Regardless of the film being lackluster, I thought Lawrence did a pretty good job. The only thing that made me have some “The Hunger Games” flashbacks was her time spent running through the woods. I just wanted her to whip out a bow and arrow and go all Katniss Everdeen on those creeps.
If you want to get a little bit of a scare, go ahead and see the movie. However, don’t waste your money going during one of the peak movie times; I’d wait for a matinee or cheap movie Tuesday. And girls, Max Thieriot definitely makes the movie worth sitting through because he looks good with that scruff and “my parents are dead because my sister killed them” angst. Overall, I give this film two out of five screaming sorority girls.