Friday, October 19, 2012

The House at the End of the Street


Looking for a fresh start following a recent divorce, Sarah and her teenage daughter Elissa (the chick from The Hunger Games) move from Chicago to a secluded small town in Pennsylvania. For whatever reason, Sarah has purchased an enormous house with a large state forest as their backyard. Sarah soon learns that she was able to purchase the house for a steal due to its proximity to a house that was the site of a double murder years earlier when a young girl butchered her parents and then disappeared. Sarah learns that the townsfolk want desperately to demolish the house but are prevented from doing so because brooding loner Ryan, the only survivor of his sister’s murders, still bizarrely resides there.

Following a fracas at a teenage party of assholes where Elissa tries to fit into her new environment, she is offered a ride by Ryan as she is walking home. Initially reluctant she readily agrees when it starts raining. Along the way she learns that he is a nice guy and that the town’s perception about him being a weirdo is unfounded. Ryan is well aware of the rumors about him but he does not care. Elissa likes his moxie. The two soon form a fast friendship much to Sarah’s chagrin who emphatically tells both of them that they are not allowed to be alone in either of their homes. Yeah, right. The two begin spending a lot of time alone together. This becomes problematic, however, when Elissa eventually discovers some strange things while poking around Ryan’s house, which makes her question his version of events about his family tragedy.

I didn’t hate it.

‘The House at the End of the Street’ is a generic title (in fact I just typed “The House at the end of the Road” by accident) for a generic movie. It has a few “twists” along the way (one that I figured out after the first 10 minutes and a good one that I didn’t figure out), it has a solid cast and it has a nice spooky setting. This is one of those films that doesn’t really do anything wrong, beyond some leaps in logic, but doesn’t offer anything new either. I guess the best word I could use to describe it is “serviceable”. I find more and more that “serviceable” can be used to describe most American “horror” movies these days. In other words, The House at the End of the Street gets the job done and is juuuuuuuuuuust good enough to keep you watching.


Johnny Sweatpants said...

Sounds like the type of film that's ok if you stumbled into it but not worth seeking out.

I thought that *** means good? I feel like our ratings are out of whack. If "serviceable" equals *** then I would have ranked Sinister that, or maybe even ***1/2 because it was slightly more than serviceable.

JPX said...

I really struggled with the rating on this one. When I see a 2.5 star review I know that I will never watch the movie. I didn't think it was fair to do that to this movie because it is definitely watchable - it's just that you've seen in before. Hmmmmmm.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Ok I just bumped my Sinister rating up for that very reason.

Crystal Math said...

I think I'll skip this one due to its "serviciability" rating by you. Anytime I predict something will happen in a horror movie within the first five minutes, and it turns out to be the plot twist, then I've got no business watching it.

Catfreeek said...

This sounds like a good one to throw in about the middle of the month when you don't want to have to think too hard. Good review.

AC said...

i keep trying but really don't enjoy the just "watchable" ones. i just prefer really bad or really good.

DCD said...

I was interested in this one when it came out. I'm not sure where I come down on it reading your review. Guess I may still have to check it out for myself!

Octopunk said...

I think "servicable" is an excellent adjective for your basic three star flick, and I think you did right to change your rating JSP (which I just noticed like five minutes ago -- I was all ready to type "But you did give it three stars, JSP, where's your credibility NOW? Huh? HUH?).

I used the same math for both Predator reviews: lame for various reasons, but still coming through on its promises.

Nice wrapup, JPX.