I love horror flicks, as I've probably indicated on several occasions, but when I first saw the trailer for House at the End of the Street, I thought it looked interesting, but something I could wait for DVD on. But it was my daughter's turn to pick the movie, so off we went.
The movie opens by showing us the brutal murder of a couple by what appears to be their daughter, who bludgeons them both to death in a creepy sequence.
Flash forward a few years to teenaged Elissa, played by Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, X-Men: First Class), and her mom moving into a new house after leaving Chicago. It's a nice house, and Elissa's mom points out the only reason they can afford such nice new digs is the murder house across the way. They're told no one lives there anymore, but Elissa soon meets Ryan Jacobson, the son of the dead family. He is in fact living in the house, and soon tells her how his sister Carol Anne murdered their parents after being in an accident that gave her brain damage and changed her personality. Supposedly, she ran out into the woods afterwards and may be there still (giving a nice urban legend to the small town). Ryan is an outcast, of course, because people are creeped out that he lives in that house all alone. But is he really all alone? What happened to Carol Anne?
Of course, Elissa is an open-minded, sensitive girl who can handle herself. She befriends Ryan, moodily played by Max Thieriot (Nancy Drew, My Soul to Take), and tries to draw him out into the world. Needless to say, it doesn't go well.
That's really all I'll say here, because as is required by law, all horror movies these days have a twist. I won't give this one away, but it's pretty clever. This is a perfectly servicable movie, not great, but good enough where you don't feel you wasted your time. It puts more character development out there than normally is seen in these movies, as you witness a lot of conflict between Elissa and her mom, ably played by Elisabeth Shue (Adventures in Babysitting, The Karate Kid). Not to mention Jennifer Lawrence is an Oscar nominated actress, so the talent is pretty high caliber.
All in all, good, not great, but creepy and entertaining.