Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (2012) movie review

House at the End of the Street (2012) d. Tonderai, Mark (USA)

Jennifer Lawrence, probably still wondering how she got roped into this, headlines as a mopey Chicago teen recently relocated to the nonspecific boonies where the kids are either misunderstood freakjobs (a thuddingly dull Max Theirrot) or hedonistic jerks (everyone else). Theirrot would probably be in the latter group as well if not for the fact that his twisted sister murdered his parents nearly a decade ago; he now resides in the murder mansion alone…right across the way from Lawrence and mom Elizabeth Shue.

There’s a novel twist lurking in the center of this humdrum affair, one that actually has some potential juice, but it’s pummeled into submission by a groaningly predictable second act and David Louka’s inane dialogue and half-baked characters. The 21st century twists put on old 80s slasher tropes (Lawrence forwarding her land line’s calls to her cell so mom won’t know she’s not home, handing out romantic thumb drives instead of mix tapes) can’t save the fact that this too-slick PG-13 thriller is devoid of personality (and blood, for that matter) to register with anyone.

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