You know how you can usually tell a movie will be cheesy just by its trailer? Why does it always seem to be the scary movies that look the cheesiest? When I saw the trailer for House at the End of the Street (HATES) a few months ago, it’s cheese factor was pretty high. Girl with long hair covering her face walking crookedly, a cute guy next door, big house in the middle of nowhere, a murder in a house, etc. It’s the traditional storyline, but I still knew I would see it for Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games).
But I couldn’t see it alone, of course. My best friend, who is terrified of horror movies and therefore refuses to see them with me, actually came with me this time. Either I’m really starting to hone my persuasion skills or she just didn’t want to miss out on a new Lawrence movie.
HATES stars Jennifer Lawrence as Elissa, and Elizabeth Shue as her divorced mother, Sarah. Wanting a fresh start, they move to a small town into a house too big for two people (but isn’t that how it always goes?). Sarah tells Elissa the only reason they’re able to afford the house is because of the location, which happens to be right next door to a run-down farmhouse where a young girl murdered her parents. Living in that farmhouse now is Ryan (Max Thieriot), the hot college guy every horror movie has. Elissa quickly befriends him, but is he really the shy outcast the town paints him as?
The theater was filled with the typical audience: teenage girls looking to spend their Friday night with their boy crushes. They sat in groups, giggling as the lights went down in anticipation of something jumping out at them. Which it did. The movie begins with a gruesome scene, a little reminiscent of Paranormal Activity. It’s not until halfway through the movie that we realize the opening was the “what happened before the present moment” scene.
HATES may seem predictable, but there are a few juicy twists you won’t be expecting (or maybe you are expecting now that I’ve said something). Be prepared to jump, and be prepared for the endless giggles and high-pitched screams young girls bring to the theater. Overall, yes, the movie had some traditional old story parts, but there were enough new changes and twists to make up for it.
If you’re a fan of Lawrence, HATES is a must-see, as she didn’t disappoint as Elissa. There are some actors who will forever be known as a certain movie character, such as Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, but Lawrence is quickly on her way to proving she can fill other roles just as well.