House at the End of the Street (2012)

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Released 23-Jan-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 96:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mark Tonderai
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jennifer Lawrence
Max Thieriot
Elisabeth Shue
Gil Bellows
Nolan Gerard Funk
Eva Link
Case ?
RPI ? Music Theo Green


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Descriptive Audio
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Fans of Jennifer Lawrence (apparently it's de riguer to call her JLaw now) will probably want to pick up a copy of House at the End of the Street to complete their collection of cinema works by their favourite young American actress. For others this film doesn't represent a great purchase. It is a generic and slightly corny psychological thriller without enough shocks and gore to intrigue the horror fans and not enough subtlety in the script to interest aficionados of the thriller genre.

    Lawrence plays Elissa, a high school age girl who has moved to a small town with her recently divorced mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue). Money is a little tight but they have managed to get a fantastic place to rent for a very low price. The reason for the bargain is obvious-looking out the window they can see the infamous Jacobson house where, just four years ago, daughter Carrie Ann murdered her parents and promptly disappeared.

     The house is spooky enough just sitting there but when Sarah sees a light on in the window she is shocked when the local police chief (Gil Bellows) tells her that Ryan Jacobson (Max Theriault) still lives there. Apparently he was away when the murders took place but is feared and shunned by the locals. Finding that most of the locals are insensitive boors Elissa meets and is captivated by Ryan. He is a sensitive, damaged soul and she, in her own weakened state, is drawn to his sense of vulnerability. Things take a turn for the worse when Elissa learns that the wild stories about the mad Carrie Ann still wandering deranged and dangerous in the woods may not be that far-fetched!

     The story for The House at the End of the Street is, as said, pretty generic however the execution of it by director Mark Tonderai is fairly flat and uninteresting. In this post Scream world it is difficult to make a movie where the vulnerable heroine feels compelled to investigate noises in the dark, ignores seemingly dead villains and generally walks into trouble at every opportunity. Although there is a romance of sorts developed between Shue and Bellows the schoolyard stories with Alyssa and the locals seem perfunctory and ill defined.

     For all that, House at the End of the Street is a pleasant diversion for a Friday pizza night. Fans of Jennifer Lawrence will find little to complain about with her performance and she also gets to do a little singing!

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The IMDB page for House at the End of the Street suggests that the movie was shot on 35 mm film stock and projected at the cinema at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

     However, there is also a trivia item on the page which suggests that the film was shot using the 2-perf Techniscope format "to provide a grainy image reminiscent of older horror films and save money on film stock and processing". I will leave it to the dedicated film stock enthusiasts to get to the bottom of the mystery.

    In the meantime I can say that the film does have somewhat of a look slightly reminiscent of classic 80s or 90s horror films, particularly the gritty basement scenes. Whilst there is a certain graininess to the image it is nothing like the 70s classic movies and fans of Jennifer Lawrence should not be perturbed at the thought that the director and cinematographer have come up with a highly stylised art piece.

     The image quality is acceptably sharp. The flesh tones are accurate. The colours are reasonably bright although it must be said that most of the film takes place in dim light or night-time situations.

    There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The DVD of House at the End of the Street features a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track running at 448 Kb/s. There is also a Dolby Digital Audio Descriptive stereo track in 2.0 running at 256 Kb/s.

     The audio track is pretty successful. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout.

     Surround effects are used throughout the film not only to give the required shock at the obligatory surprise scenes throughout the film but also to give ambience to the environment through wind and rain and other effects. The sub-woofer is not used often but does provide extra heft when needed.

     Composer Theo Green provides a score which responds to the thrilling elements of the film and there are some songs thrown in for good measure.

    There are no technical problems with the sound.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The DVD contains no extras. The film has also been released on Blu-ray and that edition contains a Making of featurette.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The DVD has been released in all regions. I can't find details as to the extras on the Region 1 and 2 DVD's but the Blu-ray has only a short making of so I don't imagine there would be too much in the way of goodies.

Summary

     Although it is described in the marketing material as a bone chilling thriller House at the End of the Street is a fairly generic and sometimes muddleheaded thriller, however I doubt that its audience, fans of up-and-coming star Jennifer Lawrence, will be too critical. Their favourite actor is front and centre for most of the film.

    The DVD is of decent quality in sound and vision terms. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Monday, March 04, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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