House at the End of the Street (2012)★★★★☆


I saw this movie in the theater (gasp!) by myself (double gasp!) outside Universal Studios in Los Angeles on a very hot day in 2012. The good news is, I still like it even when I’m not just using the theater for its air conditioning. The bad news is, that story is way less relevant tonight when it’s a brisk 58 degrees Fahrenheit outside in the middle of June (literally, the middle of June).

It’s not a perfect movie, but it kept me entertained a few years ago and it kept me entertained tonight. It’s probably not for folks who aren’t into thrillers, but it’s not terribly graphic or disturbing and the story is both intricate and intriguing.

This movie is a great example of a well-paced story. The audience is given just enough information to get hooked but not enough to put all of the pieces together. The reveals are perfectly timed and (best of all) they make sense and make the story even more interesting. The tension builds steadily and there’s a great payoff with few loose ends left hanging.

Where this movie falls apart a bit is the cast. It should be great. I love Jennifer Lawrence and was definitely on a JLaw kick when I saw this, and she was fine as Elissa. Elisabeth Shue and Gil Bellows are awesome in general and also fine as Elissa’s mother Sarah and Officer Weaver, respectively. And Max Thieriot was actually pretty good as Ryan. But there wasn’t any group chemistry and I didn’t really buy the Ryan/Elissa chemistry which makes parts of this a bit hard to believe.

Overall though I think the story is interesting enough to outshine the lack of group chemistry and make this an above average scary movie. It’ll get your heart pounding and have you at the edge of your seat, if you’re anything like me.