House at the End of the Street: Fear Reaches Out (2012)

Posted: May 28, 2013 in Horror, Thriller

house-street-smallStarting anew after leaving a troubled marriage, Sarah and Elissa move into a beautiful house in a wonderful new town. Adjacent to their home is a dark and eerie home, which was the site of a double homicide four year earlier. The neighbors are all suspicious of the young man, and brother to the suspected killer, who now resides in the cursed house. Elissa starts to make a place for herself but is derailed when Tyler gets a little too aggressive at a party. This leads Elissa to meet Ryan, whose dark, brooding ways seem to attract her to want to know more about him and his family. As the two of them get closer, Sarah gets worried that her daughter is mixing with the wrong crowd. Meanwhile, Ryan appears to be hiding a dark secret in his basement that could spell trouble for the unsuspecting Elissa.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence (Elissa), Max Thieriot (Ryan), Elisabeth Shue (Sarah), Gil Bellows (Weaver), Eva Link (Carrie Anne), Nolan Gerard Funk (Tyler), Allie MacDonald (Jillian), Jordan Hayes (Penn State Waitress), Hailee Sisera (Caitlin), Jonathan Higgins (Dr. Kohler)

Taking a slightly different acting role, Lawrence leads the cast as the curious teenager whose independence gets her into trouble. She maintains herself in this role without breaking the illusion of the moments of horror, though she also makes many of the same horror movie mistakes that are too iconic in other similar films. Thieriot tries to throw the viewer off with his shy but damaged personality but it is all too obvious that he is directly involved in the main plot.

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Mark Tonderai’s film tries to blend the horror and thriller elements using a sense of mysticism and slasher elements. Elissa was a teenager who appeared to have a curiosity for the unknown or the unsafe. While she felt like she had to take care of herself, she also felt somewhat grounded by her mother. With Sarah wrapped up in her work at the hospital, Elissa’s relationship with Ryan seemed to flourish. His secret with hiding his “sister” in the basement was kept well-hidden for some time until Elissa crept in too close. The twist on the reality of Ryan’s situation with his “sister” brought multiple characters into danger and revealed the true state of Ryan’s mental state.

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While this film was never touted to be a true quality story or eventual classic film, there are a lot of challenges with the development of this movie. On a basic level, the story is too formulaic with little imagination in the twist in Ryan’s hidden truth. While the identity of his “sister” could be seen as a small surprise, it did not make sense that when she got out she failed to garner any attention from anyone. When she ran to Elissa’s house, she did not knock on any doors or attempt to make contact (though she may have still been drugged out and not thinking straight). It is never made clear who the Marie Ann in his basement really is and throwing in the surprise with Ryan’s involvement in his parents’ death just tries to complicate the ending of the story unnecessarily.

The acting in this film is not that bad but the story falls short in too many areas to warrant this much of a look.

Dan’s Rating: 2.0/5


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