Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Horror Movie Challenge #5: "House at the End of the Street" (2012)

Here's one of those movies that's going to convince everyone I'm a bad horror fan.  The general consensus seems to be that this movie is derivative, and that it's bad, that it's stupid, that it's plot twists are easy to guess.  I've been hearing bad things about this movie for about a year now, but I love Jennifer Lawrence, so I wanted to check it out anyway (besides, I hardly ever agree with the critics anyway...I mean, come on, I like the remake of "When a Stranger Calls").  So I watched this today, not expecting much, but hoping for a good time.  That's exactly what this movie gave me.

You've heard this story before.  A girl moves to a small town with her mother in order to start fresh.  She doesn't fit in at first, but soon befriends the town weirdo who lives alone in the creepy house where his parents were killed years ago by his sister.  Soon bad things start happening, and our heroine has to figure out what's going on before it's too late.

Sound familiar?  Of course it does.  Isn't that the plot of almost like, every horror movie?  Hell, change "mother" to "father" and you have "The New Daughter," another "family moves to small town in order to get a new start and terrible things happen" movie that I loved which everyone else hated.  I was probably going to like this movie no matter what, is what I'm saying.  I'm a sucker for buried small-town secrets and dysfunctional families and the like, so I'm drawn to this type of movie.

What surprised me isn't that I enjoyed this movie, it's that I didn't see the twists coming.  Stop laughing.  Seriously, stop laughing or I'm going to punch you in the face.  Really.  Yes, the twists in this movie have been done before, and yes, I knew who the killer was, but I didn't figure out WHY even though I've seen the story done before, and I blame the good acting.  Seriously.  Elizabeth Shue, Jennifer Lawrence, and Max Thieriot are all good actors, so I had so much fun watching them play their roles that I got caught up in the story and didn't see what was coming, so it blindsided me.  And yeah, I felt kind of silly, because DUH, of COURSE that's what was going on, but the movie distracted me enough with good acting and engaging characters that I totally forgot to play the cynical, seen-it-all moviegoer, so I had a chance to be surprised.  I LOVE it when that happens, and I can honestly say that I LOVED this movie (of course I did, I don't do anything the way anyone else does).

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