Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Book to Film Review: House At The End Of The Street

About the film
House At The End Of The Street is a horror/ thriller film that was released at the cinema in September 2012. The film has a rating of 15 due to language, violence and scenes of terror. House At The End Of The Street has a run time of 101 minutes. There is now a tie-in novelisation of the movie (the reason why I'm posting this review).

Wanting a new start, mother and daughter Sarah and Elissa move to a small town where they have found their dream house. However, the only reason they can afford it is because years before, a girl murdered both of her parents and no one has wanted to live close by ever since. During their first few days in town, both Sarah and Elissa learn of the secrets of the house and what the people around them really think about what happened. What they didn’t know though was that the son, Ryan still lives in the house. Not having many friends, Elissa befriends Ryan but he’s also hiding some big secrets that no one knows about.

What I thought
I loved Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games and X Men: First Class, which is mainly the reason why I chose to go and see this film. I also took advantage of having the boyfriend with me in Nottingham for a weekend as there was no way that I would go and see this one on my own.

The film begins by giving the back story of the house which will feature later on. In bed is a girl who wakes up in the middle of the night. She walks down the hallway, not looking quite right and making some very strange noises. The girl then proceeds to stab both her mother and father before running away in the woods near her house. From here, I knew that this film wasn’t going to be what I expected. Yes, there were a few jumpy bits but I knew that there was going to be a really good story to it as well.

After a creepy and strange beginning, we are taken to the normal lives of Sarah and Elissa who are just moving into their new home, which is massive and stunning. Sarah explains to Elissa early on that the only reason that they can afford it is because of the murder next door but both believe that no one lives there anymore. I really enjoyed getting to know both Sarah and Elissa during the beginning of the film as it showed how strained their relationship was and both of their personalities came through very clearly. I liked that the mother and daughter were so different as it created a nice contrast.

Jennifer Lawrence does well as Elissa, playing a likeable but slightly broken girl with family problems. The character is extremely different from either role that Lawrence plays in The Hunger Games or X: Men so don’t be prepared to see anything expected from her. I loved how inquisitive Elissa was and that she wasn’t someone who followed the crowd. As she starts a new school, Elissa realises that she doesn’t want anything to do with the popular crowd and she eventually finds a friend in Ryan, the guy living next door. Lawrence’s performance was really good and extremely believable. She comes across as likeable but with an added hint of mystery and excitement at the same time. She definitely isn’t a boring character so there was a lot to like about her.

Playing the guy next door Ryan is Max Thieriot who I had never heard of before. He has a slightly strange look to him which automatically made me suspicious of him but there is also more to him at the same time. It becomes clear quite quickly that everyone in town hates him although I didn’t really understand this bit for a large chunk of the film. He lives on his own in the house where his parents were killed by his sister but he has quite a good back story to him as well. Once he had Elissa begin talking, he slowly comes out of his shell and lets his guard down with her. He starts off extremely quiet and holds back but this all added to the mystery which surrounded him.

The chemistry between the two main characters was fantastic and utterly believable. They get to know each other slowly and Elissa sort of forces herself into his life, not wanting him to be all alone in the house without any friends. I really enjoyed getting to know more about both of these characters together and to figure out what was really going on with the plot through seeing them spend time together and apart as well.

The plot was not what I was expecting it to be at all. I was expecting this to be a straight up horror film but it is really more of a thriller with jumpy parts more than anything else. There are so many twists and turns in the plot that I didn’t see most of them until the moment they happened. I’m normally really good at guessing these kinds of things early on but not with this film. There are so many hidden facts that there is just no way to guess or to see them coming unless you’re a genius. I loved how much this film surprised me in the way of the plot. There are exciting parts, strange and mysterious parts and also some really creepy bits all mixed in together.

While House At The End Of The Street was not at all what I thought it was going to be, I loved every minute of it. 

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