11 January 2013

House at the End of the Street 2012 - REVIEW

There are so many films that come out every year that I pass on because I either hear bad things or don't get into the trailer or simply because the movie poster or name turns me off. You'd think I'd have learned by now not to judge a book by it's cover, especially given the films that have surprised me. But no... I still turn away from them until my curiosity finally gets the best of me and I break down and watch it. Sometimes, I'm right and as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I'm wrong.

Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) is thrust into a relationship with her estranged mother  (Elisabeth Shue) after her father splits. They move to a new town in the hopes of starting over and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents years earlier. Rebelling against her mother, Elissa befriends the surviving son (Max Thieriot), who still lives in the house. As they become closer and closer, more is revealed about the deaths of his parents and Elissa soon learns that the story is far from over.

Somebody did some really great casting here!  This is only the second time I've seen one of Thieriot's films, the other being My Soul to Take, and he surprised me both times. His character here is a lot like Bug from MStT being that he's an outcast that gets picked on and bullied by the rest of the kids and he does such a great job portraying that character. He just seems so sweet and innocent and all you wanna do is just hug him. Lawrence is equally good as the "rebel WITH a cause" who (as Shue's character says) wants to rescue Ryan (Thieriot) from his demons. Shue is fantastic as usual. She's been a favorite of mine since the 80's and is kinda like fine wine... she gets better with age. I didn't know a whole lot about this one going in so I was also surprised to see the ever so handsome Gil Bellows, and while he doesn't have a whole lot of time on screen, I still love to watch him work. Writer David Loucka did well creating the character of Ryan. He's quite complex with an interesting back story that makes him very apathetic. Having said that, it doesn't seem that Loucka spent as much time on his other main characters. We're given hints here and there as to Elissa's past but there just wasn't enough to make her as strong and likeable as her counter part. The character's of Sarah (Shue) and Weaver (Bellows), while brilliantly cast, are really just hanging around to provide tiresome exposition and the majority of the back story.

Admittedly, the film doesn't have the most original plot, but it does have a couple of genuinely clever twists in the final act that most won't see coming. With a low body count, very little gore and a PG-13 rating, House looks to be aimed more toward the tween crowd. It certainly has enough teenage angst in it to fuel a CW mini-series. In fact, this is a film I can see my 15 year old busting out during a sleep over so her and all her girlfriends can talk about how cute Thieriot is. Also, it does have a certain creepiness to it, especially toward the end. It's nothing spectacular but I wouldn't call it a snooze fest either. For the most part, I enjoyed it and I would recommend it for a one time viewing, mainly because of the cast, but I don't see it holding up past that.

No comments:

Post a Comment