Review: House at the End of the Street
PLOT: When a mother and her daughter move into a new neighborhood, they find that there is a dark history for the house next door. The daughter meets a young man whose parents were murdered in the home by his crazy sister. Yet since this is a horror film, things soon begin to get creepy at the HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET. Never mind that, there is really nothing creepy about this horrible film.
Lets start with the good. Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence are adorable. That is it
Other than that I cant think of a nice thing to say about the dreadfully bad HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET, or if youd prefer HATES! This is a wildly appropriate hashtag for this flick as there is much to hate in this laboriously pathetic movie.
HATES is a lazy, clichéd, boring, ridiculous mess of a film. The biggest mystery it presents is why did two Academy Award nominees decide to take this on? Written by David Loucka with a story by credit for Jonathan Mostow, this is a convoluted young adult romance and thrill-less thriller which borders on the absurd. A mother and daughter trying to reconnect a broken relationship rent a really nice house in the woods. All is not well however as their new residence is next to a home where a double murder occurred. The dysfunctional mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) begins to start a new life while her daughter Elissa (Lawrence) meets the son of the murdered couple (Max Thieriot), whose very own sister killed her parents that dark and dreary night. Really, the only thing dark and dreary is this awful movie.
To really break this thing down as much as I would like, Id have to spoil a whole bunch of the nonsensical events portrayed in the film. However, I will say that considering HATES rips off every other good horror movie, you can probably figure out whats going on before the movie begins. There is just too much bad here. For starters, every character makes the absolute worst choices possible. Even for a horror film. Secondly, several key elements are introduced that could have led to something better (time on the clock being 3:04am for instance), yet for the most part these ideas are abandoned. The flashbacks to the murder are really silly and redundant. And did anybody actually do any research as to why you would use a baby monitor? Its not so the baby could hear you talking! This was just moronic.
Director Mark Tonderai was definitely going for the hip, quick cuts and the out of focus shots with a vengeance. Maybe he was just trying to make it interesting, yet it all comes off as simply frustratingly uneven. There is no tension. Even the jump scares are unlikely to frighten anybody over the age of twelve. What could have been a great opportunity to use some truly creepy and ominous forest locations fails to live up to even one of the lesser FRIDAY THE 13th sequels. Not that HATES looked cheap necessarily, its just that the attempts at visual flair were uninspired and dull. What few interesting shots happened felt like they must have been borrowed from something else.
The trailer for HATES is a rambling and uninteresting way to sell this flick too bad it is right on. This is an unfocused and dim movie that is near tortuous to sit through. The dialogue is atrocious, including a scene early on where Elissa (Lawrence) blurts out to Ryan (Thieriot) something along the lines of, so youre parents are dead and stuff. Not the exact line clearly, but it was equally as clumsy and wasteful. Sorry to say, you cant get much more wasteful than this flick which also seemed to run way too long. The worst part of it is its not even funny bad, just roll your eyes and hope it ends soon bad. See, good talent can still make bad films.
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