House at the End of the Street

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Remo D
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House at the End of the Street

Post by Remo D » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:50 pm

I'd imagine that any film headlining Jennifer Lawrence of THE HUNGER GAMES would be great for opening box office, but the ads I saw for HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (no "The") led me to pretty much assume that the actual film would be as underwhelming as the last two "House" films I saw (DREAM HOUSE and SILENT HOUSE, if you're counting).

I like being wrong.

Lawrence is Elissa, the seventeen-year-old daughter of Sarah (Elisabeth Shue). Sarah has recently divorced her no-good absentee husband, but she herself has scarcely been much of a mother to Elissa. Nevertheless, Elissa finds herself uprooted from Chicago (and her band) as her mother attempts to give her a "fresh start" in a remote, forested neighborhood. Sarah can rent the property quite easily, because it happens to be within walking distance of a "murder house" that's driving property values down to the consternation of almost the entire town.

They can't raze the place because young Ryan (Max Thieriot) still inhabits it against all odds... everybody knows that his little sister Carrie-Anne murdered her parents in his absence and became an urban legend ("the body was never found...") in the process. But Ryan hangs around all the same, working on restoring the family house and nursing guilt about the childhood accident that damaged his sister in the first place...

Ryan, of course, is the community recluse and pariah, but wouldn't you know it--fate (and the fact that the nice, scholarly young man that the neighbors would LOVE Elissa to hang out with is actually a scumbag) soon places Elissa in Ryan's car, and she gets to know him better... much to the consternation of her mother.

Oh, it's a horror film all right, but one that plays fairly, one in which all of the characters behave believably and logically (including Gil Bellows as the local law enforcement), one that contains plenty of well-timed jumps, and one with surprises (including a game-changer of a twist that I never would have anticipated). For once, the ads got it just right without blowing the deal.

Screenwriter David Loucka gets far more mileage out of this story (from BREAKDOWN/TERMINATOR 3 creator Jonathan Mostow) than he did with the painfully transparent DREAM HOUSE, and director Mark Tonderai more than proves himself with his theatrical debut. In all, HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET is one of the year's best surprises.


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Darth Tanner
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Re: House at the End of the Street

Post by Darth Tanner » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:51 am

Here is a long-awaited response just for you Remo :)

I decided to take in a movie since I hadn't seen anything theatrically in over a month and chose this based on your recommendation. I hadn't had much to say about the stuff I did go to see this summer (does anyone really care to know my thoughts on the IMAX reissue of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK?). At least I'll have more to talk about on my year-end recap.

As for the movie itself, I thought it was pretty darn good. I didn't realize until after I saw it that it was actually filmed in 2010, but not released until now (most likely to cash in of Jennifer Lawrence's fame in THE HUNGER GAMES). I pretty much echo everything Remo said in his review. This is a movie that plays its cards right and is definitely worth checking out. Jennifer Lawrence is actually really good and it is always a pleasure to see Elisabeth Shue (whom I must admit to having a crush on since seeing her in ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING as a youngster). Even after seeing him mentioned in the above post, I'm ashamed to admit I didn't even recognize Gil Bellows. Hard to believe it's been nearly 20 years since he was in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. But he still did a great job also in his small role.

Although this did pretty well during its opening weekend, I dread to think that this movie will be lost in the shuffle and quickly forgotten. But I say to check it out whenever you get the chance to.

Looks like I won't be in the mood to see anything else theatrically until SKYFALL (which luckily is less than a month away).

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Remo D
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Re: House at the End of the Street

Post by Remo D » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:31 pm

Well, I'm certainly glad you liked it... I must admit that I didn't know it was sitting on a shelf for two years, and I'm surprised that they hid it from the critics when they DID release it... those few critics who bothered to review it trashed it, though. Frankly, I'm at a loss--what was there to hate about this movie as opposed to so many others? Good acting, strong direction, genuine surprises... I honestly wish I knew what Roger Ebert would have said, considering that he gave THE POSSESSION three-and-a-half stars... I mean, really...


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