Michelle Douvris ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
The House at the End of the Street contains most, if not all, of the typical scary movie clichés. Girl-next-door falls for the boy next door, a parent’s warning is ignored, there’s an eerie wooded area nearby, and of course, one of the most classic components of the horror genre: a haunted house. But though the title suggests it, is this house really haunted? In The House at the End of the Street, Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her mom Sara (Elisabeth Shue) move next-door to a house where, rumor-has-it, a loving daughter named Carrie Ann murdered both of her parents and then drowned in a nearby river, leaving her brother behind as the lone survivor. Max Thieriot has the tortured role down pat with his empty stares and monotone voice, and it’s easy (especially for teenage girls) to feel sorry for the sad and lonely Ryan Jacobson. Elissa definitely feels sorry for Ryan, evidenced by their heart-to-hearts discussing their family dynamics, timid hand-touching in the woods, and a heavy make-out session gone wrong.
The funny thing about The House at the End of The Street, though, is that it’s smart about not being smart. In the beginning of the film, you’re supposed to feel like this is another one of those typical, cheaply made scare fests. It seems so predictable, with the close-ups on an unlocked door handle, the protagonist falling on the floor at the worst possible moment, and the super-original missed cell phone call. But the film boasts a fairly impressive plot twist at approximately the halfway point, and once you realize that the ending that you thought you had so intelligently figured out is not going to happen, that’s when things get interesting. In fact, once the plot twist was revealed, I sat up in my seat and said to my friend, “Wow. This is actually kind of awesome now.” So before you decide to lump #HATES (The House at the End of the Street’s oh-so-clever Twitter nickname) together with all the predictably crappy scary movies you’ve seen, give it a chance. It may not get Jennifer Lawrence another Oscar nomination, but if you keep your mind open you may leave feeling sufficiently entertained. Plus, the comments of the audience members around you during the film are already worth the $12 movie ticket.
SEE IT – If you want a decent psychological thriller with an exciting plot twist.
DON’T SEE IT – If you’re expecting an intense horror film that will make you afraid to sleep at night.