The House at the End of the Street (2012)

Elissa is the new girl in town. Elissa just met Ryan, a good looking neighbor of hers, who she really wants to sleep with. Elissa doesn’t realize that Ryan may or may not have a dangerous past behind him. You know, he has no parents, and every time she enters his house, he screams for her to run for her life and never come back, but you know, Elissa wants him to come over for dinner. Elissa’s mother Sarah is uncomfortable about Ryan and tries to warn her about him, but where does she get off? What is she, her mom or something?

So Elissa continues advancing toward Ryan, trying to get in to his pants, and whenever Elissa’s mother tries to warn her, Elissa makes her mom Sarah feel about as bad about herself as humanly possible. Look out for my well being, will you? Where do you get off, you slut? Call me to check on my safety? What a prude. It’s not like I’m sneaking around with dangerous Ryan all the time. But don’t worry, when the proverbial shit hits the fan, Elissa is still the sexy heroine we have to root for, in spite of the fact she’s an unlikable, shallow, obnoxious protagonist, while Elisabeth Shue plays second fiddle as the true heroine of this piece.

How dare you come to my rescue, what am I, in a convent? Geez. “House at the End of the Street” is not a horror movie. It’s barely a thriller. It’s a tense drama about a mom and her daughter. Mom Sarah is a hard working woman who has made her mistakes and is trying to make up for them. Daughter Elissa is just a spoiled little shit who never allows common sense to enter her personal space ay any moment in this film. Ryan has dead eyes, but he’s dreamy. Ryan lives alone, but he’s brooding. Ryan just snapped a guy’s leg in two, but he must need a hug. Talk about operating with your genitals.

The entire movie is a back and forth of mother and daughter trying to get along in this new town, while character Elissa occasionally walks through Ryan’s house to investigate the strange goings on. There’s darkness, Elissa runs for her life, and more moaning about parenting and being disciplined. Meanwhile, there are endless flashbacks, pointless exposition, and a final scene so clunky Ryan is shown putting pieces of a puzzle together. Get it? Pieces of a puzzle. Ryan is putting it all together now. Genius! It’s a shame, because the cast for this film is better than what this garbage gives them to work with. Jennifer Lawrence is a wonderful actress, Elizabeth Shue is a fantastic screen presence, Gil Bellows is a strong screen presence and this trio is handed a glorified television movie.

Unless you want to see Jennifer Lawrence saunter back and forth in a tank top for ninety minutes sweating, and running around, “House at the End of the Street” isn’t worth sitting through for the surprise ending. It’s a derivative, hokey, and badly delivered twist that will leave anticipating viewers shrugging and moving on with their lives. If you’re going to rip off “Sleepaway Camp,” at least include the severed head along with it.  “House at the End of the Street” is ninety minutes of melodrama for ten minutes of a very derivative surprise ending. At least Jennifer Lawrence is hot and sweaty through most of it.

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