Saturday At The Movies: Andy Burns On House At The End Of The Street And The Jump Scare

Bit of a confession for you, if I may. When it comes to horror flicks, I’m an easy mark, especially if the movie chooses to utilize ye olde jump scare technique. You know what I’m talking about, even if you’re not totally familiar with the term. It’s that moment in a scary movie when someone or something just JUMPS out at you. It may lead to you jumping from you seat, or nervous laughter, or putting your hands up in front of your face.

Picture every jump scare in every horror film, and then picture yours truly reacting. That’s just how it goes.

Even with a film like the lacklustre House At The End Of The Street. Check out the trailer and then meet me after the jump!
House At The End of the Street PosterOut this past week on Blu-ray/DVD and VOD, House At The End Of The Street was the first post Hunger Games release for the lovely and talented Jennifer Lawrence. In the film, she plays Elissa, who along with her mother (played by Elisabeth Shue) has moved to a small town and into a gorgeous house, one that looks right onto another that saw the murder of its owners by their daughter, Carrie-Anne, who disappeared into the woods. The only inhabitant now is Ryan (Max Thieriot), Carrie-Anne’s loner brother who may or may not be what he seems.

As always, I don’t want to give away too much plot, in case you wind up watching the film. If you’re a horror film veteran, you’re going to be able to pick this one up pretty quickly – House At The End Of The Street has very little in the way of a clever script, even with the “twist” the Blu-ray/DVD box mentions on its back cover. Who lives, who dies – you’re going to have it all figured out pretty quickly.

What the film does have going for it is Jennifer Lawrence – she’s a genuine talent, and can make even a trivial film like this one watchable, if you’re in the mood. She’s not a typical damsel in distress, though the camera sure does love her curves.

The other decent aspect of House At The End Of The Street – the serviceable jump scares which it offers up. I watched this one on the iPad wearing headphones, in bed next to the Queen, and even then I jumped a few times exactly when the filmmakers wanted me too. They got when they wanted and I got scared. The Queen got annoyed.

At the end of the day, there are vastly superior horror films out there for you, but if you wind up having to watch House At The End Of The Street, and you’re an easy scare, or you’re a Jennifer Lawrence completest, know that you’ll get some sort of satisfaction in the 90 minutes you spend watching.

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