House at the End of the Street (2012)
Dir: Mark Tonderai
Ok, I’ll admit it, Jennifer Lawrence is essentially the only reason I watched this!
A psychological thriller that sees lovely Miss Lawrence as Elissa, the new girl next door (lucky neighbours) who has moved with her mum (Elisabeth Shue) for a fresh start, not overly put-off by the fact that there was a double parenticide in the nearby house a few years earlier, and that the crazy young girl was never found, but of course she’s long gone and won’t cause any trouble for J-Law or surviving sibling Ryan (Max Thieriot)… Oh, wait…
I enjoy the occasional thriller and psychological scares are my preference far above anything spooky or grisly, so I thought I might enjoy this and I did, but in all honesty a lot of that was facilitated by my great fondness for Jennifer Lawrence. I’m working my way through the bulk of her film roles one by one, and so this was going to be watched sooner or later. However, without her involvement it would likely have passed by me with little notice. It’s not brilliant really, and certainly doesn’t call upon Jen’s best acting skills, though she’s consistently excellent the material she has to work with doesn’t do her full justice.
The real test of a psychological thriller is ‘does it play with your mind successfully and make you jump’? For me it was a one out of two on those criteria, I jumped a couple of times, and once I got serious air time. Though the promotion promised ‘an awesome twist’, it wasn’t really that awesome, the bulk of it I saw coming from VERY early on, and though I’m a movie “buff” this isn’t a genre I’m well seasoned with. There’s also another twist right at the very end, however it’s positioned before the credits, and for me I felt that it would have been better after them as it seemed like an unneccisary extra detail that would have had a tiny bit more intrigue with a lot of credits before it.
Anyway, for my money I’d suggest something like ‘Disturbia’ for a good fun psychological thriller that may appeal to teens as this clearly aimed to, and if you’re more mature or discerning you really can’t do much better than the film that inspired ‘Disturbia’, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘Rear Window’.