Review: House at the End of the Street (Starring Jennifer Lawrence)

House at the End of the Street (DVD Cover Showing Picture of Jennifer Lawrence)House at the End of the Street is a 2012, horror movie with Jennifer Lawrence in the starring role. Elisabeth Shue (of Karate Kid fame) also stars in the movie which is basically a story about the events that happen after a mother and daughter relocate to a new home.

Recent divorcee, Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and her high school daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) move into a house that’s located disturbingly close to a property where a murder took place four years earlier. A young girl, Carrie-Ann Jacobson, took a hammer to her parents and then disappeared. What became of her is not known. Many local residents believe that Carrie-Ann drowned in the dam, but, in true urban legend style, there are those who believe that she still roams the woods.

House at the End of the Street begins with a short segment that shows the Jacobsons being murdered. Don’t worry if you are timid about blood and gore. There are no close-ups of hammer on head action. However, if you do decide to watch House at the End of the Street, you may be surprised by the hammer-wielding girl’s speed when she bursts through the door into her parents’ bedroom. She’s fast, so be careful not to choke on your popcorn.

Susan and Elissa are introduced in the next scene. Carrie-Ann’s brother Ryan (Max Thieriot), who still lives in the house, is introduced a little further on in the movie after Susan and Elissa have met some of the local townsfolk. Nobody appears to be happy he is still living in the area. The local Sherriff is the only person who has a good word to say about  Ryan. He does his best to reassure Sarah, telling her Ryan is a good kid.

Ryan was away from home when his parents were murdered. He was looking after his sick aunt. Now he’s living alone in the house and keeps himself busy by fixing the place up. Shunned by the local community, he seems to spend a lot of time alone. All that solitude may not be good for him because he is carrying a lot of emotional baggage to start with and his lonely existence probably gives him too much time to brood over things.

Ryan is particularly haunted by an incident from his childhood. He and Carrie-Ann were very young at the time. They were playing together on some swings in the garden. Ryan was meant to be keeping an eye on his sister, but she fell from the swing. Things were never the same after that and he blames himself for what happened.

Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue in a Scene from House at the End of the Street (2012)

Ryan and Elissa meet for the first time when he stops and offers her a lift. Elissa had been to a party in town but left early after her date got a little too free and easy with his hands. It’s a long hike home, but when Ryan offers her a lift she is hesitant about accepting. Especially when she realizes who he is. A sudden downpour causes her to change her mind.

Elissa is a talented musician and Ryan also has a creative nature so the pair hit it off pretty well and it is not long before love is in the air.

Unfortunately, Elissa’s mother does not approve of the relationship and she does her best to keep the two apart. She also has a drink problem which appears to give her a somewhat nasty attitude at times so, one way or another, the sparks begin to fly between mother and daughter.

Sarah is a doctor and when she’s busy at work Elissa sets the home phone to divert to her mobile and continues to see Ryan behind her mother’s back.

Jennifer Lawrence and Max Thieriot in a Scene from House at the End of the Street (2012)

Elissa is not the only one with a secret. Ryan has one too. He has someone who looks suspiciously like Carrie-Ann locked in the cellar. Although he keeps her drugged most of the time she still manages to escape and it happens more than once. The first time she gets out she runs straight for Elissa’s house, but Ryan manages to intercept her. The second time she escapes she picks up a knife before she dashes out of the house.

I’d read quite a lot of negative reviews about House at the End of the Street, but I’d also seen a trailer. The trailer looked pretty good to me and I wanted to see more, so I took a chance on it and am very glad that I did because I really enjoyed watching the movie. It even had me jumping in my seat a few times. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Elisabeth Shue does a good job of playing the slightly flawed mom, but Jennifer Lawrence is the real star of House at the End of the Street. She always manages to shine a little brighter than anyone she shares a scene with. The only possible exception is Max Thieriot. There’s a good chemistry between the two and Thieriot makes Ryan appear to be a convincing underdog until the local jock trashes Ryan’s car and then tries to do the same to him. The young man has no choice but to fight back and he seems to break his attacker’s leg so easily that, at that point, I began to wonder if there might be another side to him.

House at the End of the Street is an excellent movie, with a good cast, and you will definitely want to see it if you are a Jennifer Lawrence fan.

Some movies have a twist at the end. Others do not. House at the End of the Street is a movie that does and it’s a twist that will probably surprise a lot of viewers.

As much as I like House at the End of the Street, I do have a little niggle about it. Towards the end of the movie, Susan takes a knife in the gut. It seems unlikely that anyone would survive a wound like the one she gets, doctor or not. Yet, not only does she survive but she also seems to be up and about in no time at all and walking around as if nothing has happened. Totally unbelievable! Seriously! Watch the movie and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Apart from that, I can’t really find anything to moan about. House at the End of the Street is the best movie I’ve seen in a while. All of the loose ends are tidied up at the end and everything is resolved in a way that makes sense.

You don’t have to love horror movies or be a Jennifer Lawrence fan to watch this one, it’s a movie that should appear to people with many and varied tastes. Try it. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

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