Let’s be honest here: most horror films these days get by on any number of clichés, and it’s rare to find one that stands out for any reason. House at the End of the Street is not one of those films that stands out. To be fair, House does play more like a classic thriller than your standard horror flick these days. There’s a legitimate twist thrown into the film, and the film eschews the supernatural elements and torture porn gore that audiences normally find with the genre. Avoiding both of the latter elements makes the film feel a little fresh, even if it simultaneously makes the whole film a bit weak.
Jennifer Lawrence, on a career high after The Hunger Games, stars as Elissa, a high school student with aspirations of being a singer/songwriter who moves to a small,upscale town with her mother. As she and her mother find out, an incident occurred in the house next door years earlier where a child killed her parents in their sleep and disappeared, leaving her brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot) as the lone survivor. Elissa begins a relationship with Ryan, which pulls Elissa into the secrets of the house.
Lawrence manages to make the character stand out a bit, proving once again her position as one of the best actresses of her generation, but even Lawrence can only do so much with a standard character. Elsewhere, nothing about the film stands out. The characters operate on a standard “white people in horror movies” mode, where their actions are stupefying and unrealistic. There are better options for fans of the horror genre and/or Jennifer Lawrence. Skip this film.