Elissa’s world turned upside-down when she moved from urban Chicago to the rural countryside, with her mom Sarah. Because her parents separated, she had to move in with her mom, whom she’d never developed a close relationship with, due to her long hours at the hospital. However, things started to look up when she met the cute, quiet boy who lived next door to her new home. Little did she know, her troubles were only beginning.
The House at the End of the Street was two hours long, but it felt like three. The slow pace of the film was meant to build tension, but the short scenes broke any level of suspense that the movie had going for it. There weren’t enough interesting shots to justify the lethargic progression that crawled along throughout the entire film. Instead of being creepy, this flick was just boring.
It didn’t help that the dialogue lacked depth. Moments shared between Elissa and her mother were poorly written, and instead of creating sympathy for the characters who were trying to make the best of a bad situation, neither person had redeemable qualities. Also, choosing a better actor to play the traumatized boyfriend than Max Thieriot would’ve improved the film. His character, Ryan, displayed little range, if any, in his emotions. It was hard to tell at times if he was upset, or just tired.
Although House at the End of the Street was a bust, there were a few positive qualities. Jennifer Lawrence was decent as Elissa, but she wasn’t enough to save it. The twist at the end of the movie was interesting, but the final scene was extremely anticlimactic. More violence would’ve made a huge difference in the success of the film. Some of the most dull horror movies in history have been saved by one scene that showed an excessive amount of gore. Brutality is how filmmakers reward a patient audience, but in this movie, the payoff wasn’t worth the payment.
A movie with a budget of $10,000,000 shouldn’t have had so many minuscule problems. It’s unfortunate how a film with so much money, time, and a worthy leading lady could be such a failure. Unless you’re looking for a good bed time story, don’t pay to see this movie, because it will put you to sleep.