REVIEW:HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET
SYNOPSIS: Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah (Oscar®-nominee Elisabeth Shue; Leaving Las Vegas, Piranha 3D) and her daughter Elissa (Oscar®-nominee Jennifer Lawrence; The Hunger Games, X-Men: First Class) find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared - leaving only a brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot, My Soul to Take), as the sole survivor. Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan - and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.
REVIEW: Fresh off of her most recent success with The Hunger Games, cutie, Jennifer Lawrence is returning to the big screen in Director Mark Tonderai's House at the End of the Street. The opening scenes of the feature clearly show that this young actress certainly has the attractiveness, charm, and staying power to carry the entire movie on her shoulders. She displays the charisma and the acting ability that we have come to expect, allowing her to pull off the heart-melting whimsy adolescence of a troubled teenager, with seemingly little to no effort. Unfortunately, as good as the all-star lineup and acting is in this movie, there is a question as to how well it will do at the box office. Is the star power and great acting enough to propel this seemingly mysterious flick, to the number one spot?
Initially I lost my interest in the movie because it was very slow and dull in the dialog arena; however, half way through it started to introduce several twists and turns that drew my attention. As the movie moved along, amazingly it conjured up several body jerking and “spill-your-popcorn-all-over-the- place” moments. Needless to say, I initially thought that this was a typical haunted-house type of scary movie until it turned out to be a lot more, straddling between being a “who-done-it,” flick and a mystery type of thriller, that pleasantly surprises as it evolves. At the risk of making a spoiler statement, I’ll just say that the flick does a great job in using the viewer’s prejudices to trick them into thinking they already know the rules and can predict the ending, but I dare say that the ensuing twists and surprises will prevail. Unlike the slow start of the flick and in terms of the story ending, it isn't a total loss for the audience, and there is at least some sense of closure for the characters. The ending of the movie really pulls everything together and will leave audiences quite shocked.
All of the actors were great, but the chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth shue really held the movie together with gripping, tough performances from Lawrence, throughout. Both actors actually leave enough of an impression with their performances to have audiences walk away with a sense of appreciation of the story, in the end.
This thriller was certainly not what I expected and maybe that is a good thing. I did find things about the movie very complex and intriguing and feel that it deserves some acknowledgment. I would wait for the DVD on this one and I feel that it is a three star (out of five) feature.
By Movie-Man Stan
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