The Movie Waffler New Release Review - House at the End of the Street | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - House at the End of the Street

Directed by: Mark Tonderai
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows

Lawrence falls for neighbor Thieriot whose sister disappeared after killing his parents.
When a movie titled "House at the End of the Street" features neither a street nor a house located at the end of said street, you know the film-makers don't have much respect for their audience. The writer, David Loucka, shows equal disdain for the intelligence of his cardboard characters.
Lawrence becomes smitten with Thieriot despite the overwhelming evidence that he's harboring a deadly secret (a guy living alone with a baby monitor on his kitchen table?). She also falls for his incredibly cheesy seduction technique. When asked why he gets up before dawn he replies "I like to wake before everyone else, before the best thoughts of the day have been taken." Then there's the old "my favorite tree" routine where he somehow convinces her she can see a face in it's bark. Maybe I should wear glasses to the cinema as I certainly couldn't make out such features but then I've never seen the face of Jesus in my toast either. It seems if you act tortured and have dreamy eyes, teenage girls will fall for anything. "Twilight" has a lot to answer for.
For many years I thought of Hitchcock's "Psycho" as no more than an average thriller but I've come around to regard it as a classic, though admittedly nowhere near his best work. What brought me around? Sitting through a slew of awful imitations makes you realise just how well crafted it is. This movie borrows heavily from Hitchcock's, setting up Thieriot as a modern day Norman Bates. The problem is, unlike the 1960 film, this is completely devoid of suspense, pinning it's hopes on plot twists which you'll guess about four scenes before they occur. As is obligatory with this sort of unoriginal trash, we get an unimaginative finale involving a chase around a house. This sequence felt like it lasted thirty minutes and could have only been more cliched if the heroine had finished off the killer with a nail gun.
Don't let the marketing fool you, this is one property best left vacant.