It was another stale weekend at the box office, with each film seemingly trying to let another take the top spot. In the end, End of Watch just edged out House at the End of the Street, with each film scoring just over $13 million.
While the latter, starring The Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, is familiar and a bit uncomfortable to watch, House at the End of the Street opens up the Halloween movie season with an acceptable, moderately stressful film.
A newly divorced, single-mother moves to a beautiful, secluded area where a horrifying double-murder took place years earlier: right next-door.
The 17-year-old main character, Elissa (Lawrence), is a typical rebellious teen, resulting in a run in with Ryan (Max Thieriot), the son of the murder victims.
As she disobeys her mother on purpose and investigates the next-door house, while forming a relationship with the neighbor boy, Elissa finds herself in grave danger.
The journey from beginning to end is predictable and dry, but for someone who doesn’t enjoy horror movies, the trite path to the ending was dripping with stressful anticipation.
Through drawn out walks in and around the house and interesting camera angles, the director was able to trick a gullible moviegoer, like myself, into a state of panic, despite sub-par dialogue writing and plenty of awkward scenes of unconvincing high school students.
Despite all of its shortcomings, House at the End of the Street capitalizes on Lawrence’s performance, letting her carry the audience to the twist-filled ending. While the rest of the cast plays their parts adequately, especially co-star Thieriot, it’s the naïve yet stubborn Elissa that steals the show.
She’s the typical blond, venturing into the dark unknown, alone and unprotected, leaving viewers to correctly predict the consequences at such a mistake. That is, until the ending, which follows a few interesting twists before coming to an okay and partially satisfying conclusion.
Rated PG-13 to draw in fans of The Hunger Games, this psycho thriller more resembles a poorly written, lackluster version of Winter’s Bone then the more recent blockbuster.
Even so, moviegoers looking for a stressful, forgettable venture to the theater could do far worse.